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Austrian man hid mother’s body in cellar to draw pension: Police | Europe News



Austrian man hid mother’s body in cellar to draw pension: Police | Europe News

The 66-year-old man mummified the body and kept it in the cellar for more than a year to receive her social welfare benefits, police say.A man has admitted to bandaging and refrigerating the corpse of his dead mother to conceal her death to the Austrian authorities and continue receiving her benefits.
Local police said on Thursday they had discovered the body of the 89-year-old in a home located near Innsbruck, in Austria’s Tyrol region.
The woman, who is believed to have died in June last year of natural causes, was kept in a cellar by her 66-year-old son. The man has since pocketed a total of 50,000 euros ($59,000) in social welfare on her behalf.
“He made sure that there was no odour or nuisance.” Helmut Gufler, head of the police’s social security fraud unit, told public broadcaster ORF Tirol.
The body was refrigerated with regularly swapped ice packs while body fluids were absorbed with bandages.
When he ran out of these things “he covered his mother with cat litter and finally the corpse was mummified”, Gufler said.
The suspect, who has no income, has said during questioning that he did not want to forego his mother’s money. He is believed to have been financially unable to pay for the funeral or keep the house he had shared with his mother without the monthly stipend.
The ploy had begun unravelling when his brother came around for a visit and he claimed their mother was in hospital after.
A new postman who took up the duty of delivering his mom’s benefits every month had also demanded to see the beneficiary.
Upon his refusal, the postman reported the matter to the authorities, who uncovered the body on Saturday.
An autopsy has ruled out the possibility that he may have murdered his mother. However, he is accused of benefit fraud and hiding a corpse.

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