On Sunday evening the 33-year-old went up into the attic of his father's farmhouse in Cloppenburg. Apparently he was the first person in at least 40 years to do so.
Up in the dusty room, he found the remains of a woman covered in leaves and straw, reports Bild.
All that was left of her was her skeleton and what remained of the clothes she had been wearing at the time. Her clothes consisted of several jackets, trousers and shoes.
Police spokesman Josef Schade said that “a discovery of this type is a very unusual event.”
Authorities believe the remains are those of a woman who disappeared 40 years ago from an address five kilometres from the farm house.
Police say that the woman had a history of mental illness and that she had disappeared from home before, one time turning up in some woods after going missing for six weeks.
After conducting a post mortem and a dental analysis, police say they are confident the bones belong to the woman. They do not suspect that another person was involved in the death.
“We assume that the woman lay down to sleep and froze to death in the attic,” the police spokesperson told Bild.