Man mummifies his mother and keeps her in his basement for a year so he can continue to collect her pension
- The 89-year-old woman would have died of natural causes in June 2020
- Her son allegedly dragged her to the basement and mummified her body
- He used ice packs, bandages and cat litter to mask the smell
- Police made the discovery after being warned by a suspected postman
- He confessed to the crime and is charged with fraud and hiding a corpse
Austrian police have revealed that a man mummified his mother’s corpse and kept her in a cellar for more than a year so he could continue to collect her pension.
The 89-year-old woman is said to have died of natural causes in June 2020 after suffering from dementia for several years. It was then that her son, 66, came up with the gruesome plan to bring in extra cash.
He is thought to have dragged her body to their shared basement before mummifying her entire body in bandages and covering her with ice packs to reduce the smell of rotting flesh.
The mother and son, both of whom have not yet been named, lived in the West Tyrol region of Austria near Innsbruck, where police made the discovery after being led to the house by a suspicious postman.
Police believe he earned around €50,000 (£42,000) in pensions and benefits for his mother who was rotting in the basement.
Police believe he earned around €50,000 (£42,000) in pensions and benefits for his mother who was rotting in the basement
The mother and son, both of whom have no names yet, lived in the West Tyrol region of Austria, near Innsbruck
The haunting fraud operation came to light only after a new mailman who delivered the woman’s social mail said her son refused to let him meet his mother.
The postman reported his suspicions to authorities, who began an investigation into the woman’s apparent disappearance and discovered her rotten carcass in her son’s basement.
In the end, the body was mummified,” Helmut Gufler, head of the police’s social security fraud department, said in an interview with public broadcaster ORF.
“He made sure there was no smell or nuisance.”
The haunting fraud operation came to light only after a new postman who delivered the woman’s social mail said her son refused to let him meet his mother
Gufler went on to describe how the man cooled his mother’s body with regularly changed ice packs and absorbed bodily fluids with a mountain of bandages, before adding that “he covered his mother with cat litter and eventually the corpse was mummified” as he ran without supplies. .
Gufler reported that the man had no source of income and depended on social security provided to the family to keep afloat.
Had he reported the death, benefits and pensions would have been halted, leaving him unable to pay for his mother’s funeral or keep the house they shared.
Authorities said the man confessed to the crime and was able to prevent his brother from seeing their mother for more than a year.
ORF reported that the man had told his brother that their mother had been taken to a specialist hospital where her condition had deteriorated to the point of being barely recognizable.
An autopsy has ruled out the man’s murder of his mother, but he is charged with benefit fraud and hiding a corpse.