A man kept the mummified corpse of his mother in his cellar for one year in order to keep receiving her benefits, police in Austria have said.
The 66-year-old man, who lived in Tyrol, west Austria, had gone to great lengths to hide his mother’s dead body including storing her with ice packs that were regularly replaced, wrapping her in bandages to absorb body fluids and covering her in cat litter, police said.
“Ultimately, the corpse was mummified,” Helmuth Gufler, a spokesperson for the police's social security fraud department told public broadcaster ORF.
The 89-year-old woman – who is believed to have had dementia – died from natural causes in June 2020 according to a police autopsy.
The body was discovered after a new postal worker delivering the benefits asked to see the beneficiary. When the man refused, the worker alerted the authorities who later discovered the mummified corpse.
Over the year, the woman’s son had stolen €50,000 (£42,750) in benefits.
The unidentified man confessed during police questioning and is being charged with benefit fraud and hiding a corpse.