Police in Kentucky say a man hid his mother's body in a freezer for three years and cashed her Social Security checks and retirement benefits instead of reporting her death.
"We didn't know she passed away, and we were afraid to ask. ... He wasn't a bad person. It's just that he did one bad thing, and from that one bad thing led to other bad things." (Via WLEX)
WLEX reports back in March, police went to a home where Jon Whiteford was staying to question him about his mother. Upon their arrival, police say Whiteford shot and killed himself.
WKYT notes suspicion about Whiteford's mother started growing earlier this year. The Social Security Administration asked for a welfare check on Faye Whiteford because she hadn't made a medical claim in the past three years.
The station reports Whiteford was interviewed twice in March — once when he went to the local Social Security office and again by detectives with a local police department. Police say Whiteford admitted his mom had died but didn't say how or where she was.
He committed suicide later that same month. At that point, the Lexington Herald-Leader points out police still didn't know where Whiteford's mother's body was. Nearly a month later, police found a body wrapped up in a tarp.
Police say they think Whiteford had been keeping his mother's body in a freezer, then put her body in a tarp when his house went into foreclosure in late 2013.
CNN reports the body was later identified as that of Faye Whiteford. The local sheriff's office says it appears she died of natural causes in early 2011 at age 96.
Had he not committed suicide, police say Whiteford would likely have faced charges of Social Security fraud and abusing a corpse.