An Arizona man allegedly secretly buried his deceased 97-year-old mother in an attempt to continue getting her Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits.
Daniel Shannon, the 66-year-old son from San Tan Valley, was arrested Wednesday after a nearly two-month investigation for allegedly burying Leonie Shannon, his mother, in the backyard, according to a statement from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
A concerned citizen called police to the home on April 7 after Leonie Shannon hadn’t been seen since December, the statement read.
Leonie Shannon was supposed to be under her son’s care.
During that home meeting with cops, Daniel said that his mother had “walked away from the home” on Dec. 21, 2018.
He said that his mother had done this in the past, and he hadn’t reported her missing because he wanted her VA benefits to continue in case of her return.
Daniel’s story continued to change as police investigated, the statement said.
On May 22, Daniel admitted that his mother had actually passed away on Dec. 21.
He told police that he buried her in the backyard so that he could keep getting her Social Security and VA benefits to pay for a patent on something that he invented.
“Our detectives did a great job on this case, and in bringing Mr. Daniels to justice. These types of cases are especially troublesome when the crimes involve family members,” Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said in the statement.
Police got a search warrant for the home on Wednesday and discovered a body in the backyard.
The medical examiner has yet to confirm that the remains are those of Leonie Shannon and determine the official cause of death, the statement said.
Daniel Shannon has been arrested on suspicion fraud and improper disposal of a body, but police say the investigation is ongoing and he may face additional charges.
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