A 66-year-old son has admitted mummifying his mother’s body using cat litter and preserving her to keep receiving her benefits, officials have said.
Austrian police said the body of the 89-year-old woman was discovered in the cellar of her home in near Innsbruck in the Tyrol region, where she had lived with her son.
It is believed she died in June of last year, and was suffering from dementia.
An autopsy has ruled out he killed his mother, and he has been accused of benefit fraud and hiding a corpse.
A statement from police said her son admitted to freezing her body with icepacks to stop any bad smells, before wrapping her in bandages to absorb any bodily fluids.
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“The 66-year-old man kept her body in order to continue receiving benefits,” they added.
When his brother would visit and ask about their mum, the man would tell him she was in hospital.
Helmut Gufler, in charge of the police’s social security fraud unit, told local media: “He covered his mother with cat litter and finally the corpse was mummified.”
The son had been receiving her benefits through the post, and since her death it is estimated he pocketed €50,000 (£43,000) through the payouts.
The grim discovery was made after a new postman demanded he see the recipient of the money in person.
When the son refused, the postman contacted the police, who found her body on Saturday.
The news comes as experts revealed t he killer of British backpacker Grace Millane revealed his guilt with three clear signs during a police interview.
Jesse Kempson, 26, tried to say Grace had died during consensual sex between the pair, but a jury convicted him of murder.
He was sentenced to life in prison and will serve a minimum of 17 years, in a case that sent shockwaves around the world and raised questions about the ‘rough sex’ defence in criminal courts.
Now, a new documentary reveals twisted Kempson tried to lie about the events leading up to Grace’s death – even trying to blame the 21-year-old for what happened – but gave away his guilt through his body language.
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