SOMERSET, Ky. — A Kentucky man kept his dead mother in a freezer for three years while spending her Social Security checks, then he killed himself as police tried to unravel the mystery of what happened to the woman, according to the Pulaski County sheriff’s office.
Police suspect that Jon Whiteford dumped the body of his mother, Faye B. Whiteford, who would have been 96 this year, at an empty house after he was forced to move out of the home they had shared.
A detective found the body on April 23, wrapped in a tarpaulin and lying in the yard, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
The Social Security Administration had been paying monthly benefits to Faye Whiteford, she but had not logged a medical claim in her name for about three years – an obvious red flag, given her age.
The agency asked authorities to check on her.
Federal agents told sheriff’s detectives that Whiteford’s son had access to her finances, according to the news release.
In early March,police located Jon Whiteford, 59, when he went to the Social Security office in Somerset to apply for benefits in his name.
Whiteford told police that his home had been repossessed and he had been living in his car.
He also confirmed that his mother was dead, but he refused to say how or when she died or tell them where her body was, according to the news release.
As police investigated, they learned that Jon Whiteford was staying at a house next door to where he had lived with his mother in Science Hill.
Jon Whiteford decided to continue drawing his mother’s Social Security and retirement benefits, making the “fateful decision” to buy a freezer and keep his mother’s body in it until he was forced to move out of their home about last Christmas.