Georgia woman, 43, has been arrested for burying her mother’s body in backyard over fear of autopsy

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A woman buried her mother in their garden after finding her dead in her bed for fear a coroner would cut her loved one’s body during an autopsy, it is alleged.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office had responded to a home on Tobacco Road in South Augusta for a medical call around 4:25 p.m. June 3, WFXG reported.

Deputies who responded found Melissa Lockhart, 43, in the home with a broken right knee and she was taken to Augusta University Medical Center for treatment.

While home, officers also spotted a shallow backyard grave that had recently been dug and found the remains of Lockhart’s 67-year-old mother Miriam Lynn Lockhart.

Melissa Lockhart has been charged with concealment of death after allegedly burying her mother's corpse in their backyard

She is in the picture when she was a young girl

Melissa Lockhart, left, has been charged with concealment of death after allegedly burying her mother’s corpse in their backyard. She is in the picture when she was a young girl

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office had responded to a home on Tobacco Road in South Augusta at around 4:25 p.m. June 3 for a medical call.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office had responded to a home on Tobacco Road in South Augusta at around 4:25 p.m. June 3 for a medical call.

Deputies who responded found Melissa Lockhart, 43, in the home with a broken right knee and she was taken to Augusta University Medical Center for treatment.

Deputies who responded found Melissa Lockhart, 43, in the home with a broken right knee and she was taken to Augusta University Medical Center for treatment.

While at home, officers also spotted a shallow backyard grave that had recently been dug

While at home, officers also spotted a shallow backyard grave that had recently been dug

In the makeshift grave, officers found the remains of Lockhart's 67-year-old mother Miriam Lynn Lockhart

In the makeshift grave, officers found the remains of Lockhart’s 67-year-old mother Miriam Lynn Lockhart

The shallow grave where Miriam Lynn Lockhart was buried by her daughter is depicted

The shallow grave where Miriam Lynn Lockhart was buried by her daughter is depicted

The shallow grave where Miriam Lynn Lockhart was buried by her daughter is depicted

The shallow grave where Miriam Lynn Lockhart was buried by her daughter is depicted

Lockhart has been charged with attempted concealment of a corpse, alleging she did not want a coroner to cut her mother's remains during an autopsy

Lockhart has been charged with attempted concealment of a corpse, alleging she did not want a coroner to cut her mother’s remains during an autopsy

The backyard of Melissa Lockhart's house is pictured

The backyard of Melissa Lockhart’s house is pictured

Melissa Lockhart is said to have told police she found her mother dead in bed on May 31 or June 1, and didn’t want anyone to take her mother from her or “circumcise” her by performing an autopsy, so she buried her in the backyard, WFXG reported.

She has been charged with concealment of death and a violation of her probation and her bail has been set at $6,520.50, court records show.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has completed an autopsy on Miriam Lynn Lockhart, although the results of that autopsy are unknown.

A GBI spokesperson declined to release the autopsy results or comment on the matter to: Oxygen on Tuesday.

The outlet obtained records showing officials had previously been sent to the house where Melissa Lockhart lived with her mother.

Deputies had responded to the house in February and found Miriam Lockhart was having trouble breathing, it was reported.

In a separate police report obtained by Oxygen, Miriam Lockhart is said to have told officers she was “afraid” that her daughter would “beat or kill her” and said she was immobile and hadn’t left her home in years.

Law enforcement officers never found evidence or visible injuries, but referred the matter to the state’s adult protective services, the outlet reported. Melissa Lockhart reportedly denied sexually assaulting her mother.

Melissa Lockhart is pictured with her daughter

Melissa Lockhart is pictured with her daughter

An Elmo doll is pictured alongside other items for Melissa Lockhart's house

An Elmo doll is pictured alongside other items for Melissa Lockhart’s house

A bed where Miriam Lynn Lockhart slept before her death is said to have been placed in the backyard by police during the investigation into Miriam's death

A bed where Miriam Lynn Lockhart slept before her death is said to have been placed in the backyard by police during the investigation into Miriam’s death

Miriam Lockhart, who had worked as a real estate agent, was remembered by friends and colleagues as a “good personality.”

Jeff Keller, a former Lockhart employer, said: WRDW that she was a ‘good cop’.

“If you don’t have that personality, the ability to like people and you have to match your personality to theirs, they won’t like you and they won’t trust you. Which means you have to have those two traits to be successful in real estate,” he said.

He added: “She worked for me for about two or three years and she was a good cop. A good personality.’

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