A 66-year old man from Innsbruck in the west Austrian state of Tyrol preserved the body of his mother in the basement of his house for a year to continue receiving her pension payments. 

According to the statement of the Austrian police, an 89-year old woman died naturally in June last year while suffering from dementia. Her mummified body was recovered last Saturday after a postman who regularly delivers the woman’s benefits demanded to see the beneficiary. As the son refused to oblige, the postman’s suspicion led to a police investigation and discovery of a year old dead body.

The investigation revealed that the man froze his mother’s body with ice packs in the house basement and wrapped in bandages to stop bodily fluids from leaking.

Since June 2020, the man had collected €50,000 (Rs. 43.42 lakhs) of the pension benefits, the police statement said.

“He covered his mother with cat litter and finally the corpse was mummified,” Helmut Gufler, in charge of the police’s social security fraud unit, said.

Another fact that came to light during the investigation was the visit of his brother to the house that was unable to reveal the secret when he asked about their mother and was told that she was in a hospital. It was the joining of a new postman that shed light on the fraud.

The man in his testimony told the police that since he had no other source of income, he would have been unable to for his mother’s funeral and the cost of maintaining the house had he stopped receiving the benefits.


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