The remains of a woman believed to have died in 2010 have been discovered in her Toulouse, France, apartment, police said.

Firefighters and police entered the apartment of Fernande Broca, who was in her 70s, and found her Thursday. Neighbors described her as quiet and solitary, and said she only left her residence to go shopping.

Although financial statements and other mail piled up at Broca's front door, neighbors assumed she had moved away, the French news website The Local reported.

The newspaper La Depeche said her rent and utility bills were being paid electronically.

"When I noticed her windows were closed after a while, I thought she had gone to live in a retirement home," one neighbor said.

A preliminary medical examination indicated Broca died three years ago, although no cause of death was identified.