Austrian police found the body of a woman who, they say, was mummified by her son so that he could continue to receive pension benefits from the dead mother.
The 66-year-old man confessed to keeping his mother’s body in the basement of an estate in the Innsbruck-Land region of western India. Austria, after police officers visited the house on Saturday, according to a police statement sent to CNN on Friday (10).
The 89-year-old woman is believed to have died in June 2020, police said, but the man kept her body to continue receiving his pension and assistance.
Police said the man raised about €50,000 ($59,000) during the time he kept his mother’s body in the basement.
An autopsy performed on Wednesday showed no sign that the woman’s death was suspicious, the statement continued. The man is accused of benefit fraud and corpse concealment.
The man said he froze his mother’s body using ice packs to avoid any smell and wrapped her in bandages to absorb bodily fluids, the AFP news agency reported.
“He covered the mother with cat litter and finally the corpse was mummified,” Helmut Gufler, head of the police’s Social Security fraud unit, said in an interview with public broadcaster ORF, according to AFP.
When the man’s brother came to see his mother, he was told she was in the hospital. It was only when a new postman asked to see the recipient of the benefits he was delivering that the story began to unravel, the agency said.
The postman said the man refused to let him see his mother, according to the AFP, and authorities went to check the property.
(Translated text. Read the original in English here.)