Man kept mother's body in cellar to keep receiving benefits, say Austrian police
He reportedly received up to €50,000 in benefits.
A man kept his mother's body in his cellar for over a year to keep receiving her pension benefits, police in Austria have said.
BBC News reports that the 89-year-old women, who suffered from dementia, died from natural causes in 2020. Her son, a 66-year-old man, is believed to have kept her body in his cellar, using ice packs and cat litter to mask the smell of decomposition.
"Ultimately, the corpse was mummified," said officer Helmuth Gufler, who investigated the case.
The man, who had no other income and has since confessed, is believed to have received up to €50,000 in pension payments over the course of the year.
The discovery was made after a postman asked to see the man's mother and was told that he couldn't. Police were then informed of the suspicious circumstances and discovered the woman's corpse in the cellar.
Police said that the man told them he kept the body so he could afford to pay for his mother's funeral and to keep the house they shared.
The man also reportedly told his brother their mother was receiving treatment in a care home and that due to her condition, she would not recognise him if he visited her.
A postmortem was carried out on the woman on Wednesday. There was no evidence of foul play.