Couple charged with collecting man’s retirement while keeping his ‘mummified’ body in their home for six years

US News

A couple have been accused of fraudulently collecting retirement benefits on behalf of a dead relative while they concealed his “mummified” body in their home for six years.

Police in Kansas discovered the body of Mike Carroll in 2022 after his son-in-law, Kirk Ritter, called police to report his death.

However, authorities discovered through digital records of his pacemaker that he died six years earlier, in 2016, at the age of 81.

Overland Park police initially investigated the case as a suspicious death, until a coroner ruled that Mr Carroll died of natural causes.

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Prosecutors now allege Ritter and his wife, Lynn, both 61, fraudulently collected more than $215,000 (£170,000) in retirement benefits on Mr Carroll’s behalf following his death.

They allege the couple continued depositing and spending from Mr Carroll’s bank account even while his body became “mummified” on a bed in the home.

According to local media, family members said the Ritters were financially dependent on Mr Carroll, lived with him, and served as his caretakers towards the end of his life.

They reportedly told the Kansas City Star the couple would give them excuses about why Mr Carroll could never take a phone call or receive a visit, while leading them to believe that he was still alive.

The couple each face one count of wire fraud and two counts of theft of government funds, according to information entered in the US District of Kansas on Wednesday.

They are due to appear in federal court to face the charges on 2 February.

According to the Kansas City Star, the Ritters did not respond to phone and email messages, while court documents do not list a lawyer representing them.

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