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Mummified body believed to be 1959 Playmate

May 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles County coroners are trying to confirm that a badly decomposed body found in the Benedict Canyon home of a former Playboy Playmate is hers.

A neighbor found the body last week on the 10000 block of Westwanda Drive, the home of Playmate and 1950s "B" movie actress Yvette Vickers.

Vickers, 82, hadn't been seen or heard from in months, but she normally kept to herself, according to neighbors.

Susan Savage was checking Vickers' mailbox when she saw the mail was stacking up, but then went inside the home and that's when she discovered the decomposing body.

"On Wednesday, I noticed cobwebs inside the mailbox for the first time," Savage said. "Then I thought this can't be good."

Savage said the inside of the home was a mess, there was mold and a small space heater was still on.

"Then I saw what I thought was clothes, because there was a lot of clothes. I looked at it and it looked like there was something growing through it, like fungus or something, and that's when it dawned on me: I'm like, 'That's Yvette,'" Savage said. "I probably only looked at her for that second, and then figured out in within a half second it was her and then I ran out."

Described by one neighbor as reclusive, Vickers had lived in the home since the mid-1950s. She had appeared in cult movies such as "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" and "Attack of the Giant Leeches." The voluptuous blonde was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in July 1959.

Authorities do not suspect foul play, but say it could take a week to determine definitively that it was Vickers' body. The remains could have been there from a few months to a year, Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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