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Kansas couple kept deceased man's body in home for six years while collecting his retirement benefits
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Kansas couple kept deceased man's body in home for six years while collecting his retirement benefits

A couple in Kansas has been charged for fraudulently collecting more than $215,000 in retirement benefits on behalf of a relative who had already died. And the couple reportedly kept the corpse of the relative's body in their home for six years, according to NBC News.

The authorities said Mike Carroll's pacemaker indicated that he passed away in 2016, at the age of 81. But the Overland Park police did not find his body until 2022 when Kirk Ritter, Carroll's son-in-law, reported the death. Prosecutors in the case mentioned Kirk and Lynn Ritter, both 61, continued making use of Carroll's bank account after his body had become "mummified" in one of the home's bedrooms.

Lynn is reportedly Carroll's daughter.

The Kansas City Star reported that there were efforts to get in touch with the Ritters after the development was discovered. It is not clear if the Ritters have a defense attorney in the case. The report also mentioned that the Ritters relied on Carroll financially toward the end of his life.

A shocking development is that members of the family believed Carroll was still alive until his death was reported just 15 months ago, per the Kansas City Star. Carroll's niece, Janet Carroll, said she and others were constantly given excuses as to why he could not come to the phone.

"We were denied contact with him," Janet said, "[a]nd now we know why."

Even after Carroll's death, the Ritters continued to live inside the home. The authorities said that over six years, the Ritters made deposits into Carroll's bank account from his pension and the Social Security Administration that totaled $216,067.

Another report published in early 2023 noted that Carroll's granddaughter said the family found out about the man's death after Kirk called in February 2022. Kirk explained Carroll had died in 2016, but never mentioned how long the body had been in the house.

“We were absolutely shocked,” she said. “He told us that he’s buried with Grandma.”

During the call, Kirk apparently told the granddaughter that Lynn had suffered a heart attack.

“I think Kirk got tired of it and took advantage of the fact that she was finally not in the house,” the granddaughter said.

The Ritters are expected in court on February 2.

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