Yesterday morning, the decomposing body of a Vietnam War veteran was found in his Brooklyn apartment—apparently after months of neighbors' complaints about a foul smell. However, WABC 7 reports, the body of 60-year-old James Gales was only discovered because "A man who just happens happens to work the for the medical examiners officer, according neighbors, saw the apartment window open. When he passed the opened window, he apparently knew immediately that there was a dead body inside."

Gales had lived at the Breuklen Houses, a housing project in Canarsie, for 17 years. According to neighbors that the Post spoke to, Gale "was often seen pushing himself around in his wheelchair... until late January when he mysteriously disappeared." (A cousin said she assumed he checked into a VA hospital.) WABC 7 also had this grim detail: "Neighbors say they first noticed a stench, then flies and finally maggots." One even showed how she wrapped her pipes with tape to keep the smell out! Neighbors claim they contacted the Housing Authority, Health Department and NYPD to complain about the smell; the NYPD tells the Post that officers had visited Gales, but couldn't give dates for those visits.

An autopsy is being conducted, but it's believed Gales died of natural causes. Gales had also suffered from gangrene in his legs, from a subway accident, but a neighbor said, "He told me, 'I came into this world with two legs, and I'll go out with two legs.'"