The 26-year-old burglar phoned police after stumbling into the body early Wednesday in the house in a suburb of Hamilton, The New Zealand Herald reported. Neighbors who heard the screaming also called, apparently thinking there was a domestic disturbance.
Senior Hamilton Police Sgt. Freda Grace said the dead man is not believed to have been the victim of foul play. She said the burglar, a man police were already familiar with, was released after questioning.
"Hopefully there will be a positive out of it and that he will decide it's not the thing to do," Grace said. "I would be taking that as pretty bad karma."
Grace said she felt sorry for the dead man, who felt so terrible suicide appeared to be the only way out.
"Really the whole set of circumstances are just horrid," she said.