An Austrian man hid the dead body of his mother in his basement for over a year in order to benefit from her continued pension payments, he has told investigators.
The 66-year-old had feared he would otherwise lose their house close to the city of Innsbruck, a police spokesperson confirmed on Friday.
An investigator told national broadcaster ORF that the suspect initially stored the dead body of his 89-year-old mother using cold packs and bandages after she died in June 2020, but then permanently covered her with cat litter.
When it was found the body was mummified, the investigator said.
The autopsy revealed that the woman, who suffered from dementia, died of natural causes.
The social security department became involved in the case after a postman insisted to deliver the pension personally to the mother instead of the son.
After the agency called the police, the man confessed to his actions.
According to the police, the man illegally received a total of social benefits of 50,000 euros (59,000 dollars). He was charged with aggravated fraud and disturbing the peace of the dead.