A man kept the mummified corpse of his mother in a basement for over a year while continuing to receive her pension payments, Austrian police say.
The 89-year-old woman, who reportedly had dementia, is thought to have died of natural causes in June last year.
Her son, 66, is said to have put her body in his cellar and used ice packs and bandages to mask the smell.
Police believe he may have illegally received about €50,000 (£42,000) in payments.
The suspected fraud only came to light after a new postman delivering the woman’s benefits in the western Tyrol region was refused a request to see her, police said in a statement.
That sparked an investigation, and led to the subsequent grisly discovery.
Police told Austria’s public broadcaster ORF that the suspect had also covered his mother with cat litter.
“Ultimately, the corpse was mummified,” officer Helmuth Gufler said, adding that the man had confessed.
Mr Gufler said the man had no other income, and had told them that the payments would have stopped immediately if he had reported the death, leaving him unable to afford to pay for his mother’s funeral or to keep the house they had shared.
The suspect also said he had told his brother that their mother was receiving care at a hospital, and that it was not worth visiting as her condition meant it was unlikely she would recognise him, ORF reported.
This is a very serious issue. Some people can go to the length and width of the world just to make money. Keeping a dead body in your home just to continue receiving the pension benefits of the dead person is crazy and far beyond imagination.
Greed and heartlessness. But Australian’s government should have detected this activity of illegal redrawal of money cos I believe they have more secured system of operations. Eei so you kept your mom’s corpse so you can earn money? Herh
Orphan’s pension (Waisenpension) is provided to children up to the age of 18 years. For orphans in training or university education, the entitlement runs up to the age of 27. There is no age limit for children with disabilities.
According to the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection in Austria, the man 66 years old was not entitled to receive the pension benefits of his mum and that’s why he decided to keep his mum’s dead body in other to continue receiving the benefits.
These things are hard to be detected. It goes on every where in the world. I read something about a man who faked his retirement in other to receive pension benefits whiles he was working and receiving monthly salary for so many years before it was detected. There are so many ghost names receiving pension benefits right here in Ghana as well.
But what this man did was beyond my imagination.
You’re right many are doing things that you can think of in other to make earns meet. I watched a documentary on Aljazeera about this man in Nigeria who has to dive into a river to collect sand under it and sell before he gets something to eat. Many are risking it all to survive but what this man did is so crazy.