According to Austrian authorities, a man hid his mother’s mummified body in a cellar for almost a year while continuing to receive her pension payments.
The 89-year-old woman, who was allegedly suffering from dementia, is believed to have died of natural causes in June of last year.
Her son, 66, is accused of burying her remains in his cellar and masking the odor with ice packs and bandages.
Police think he got around €50,000 (£42,000) in illicit payments.
According to authorities, the potential fraud was discovered after a new postman carrying the woman’s benefits in the western Tyrol area was denied a request to meet her.
This triggered an inquiry, which led to the gruesome finding.
According to ORF, Austria’s official television, the suspect also covered his mother with cat litter.
“The corpse was eventually mummified,” officer Helmuth Gufler said, adding that the guy had confessed.
Mr Gufler said the man had no other source of income and had informed them that if he had reported the death, the payments would have ceased immediately, leaving him unable to pay for his mother’s burial or maintain the property they had shared.
According to ORF, the suspect also stated that he informed his brother that their mother was getting treatment at a hospital and that it was not worth going because her condition made it unlikely that she would recognize him.,