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Police: Son buried dead 97-year-old mom in backyard so he could get her benefits to pay for an invention patent


An Arizona man admitted that he had buried his dead 97-year-old mom in the backyard of his home so that he could pocket her Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits to help pay for an invention patent, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Authorities arrested Daniel Shannon of San Tan Valley on Wednesday following a two-month investigation into the disappearance of his mother Leonie Shannon, who died late last year.

"These types of cases are especially troublesome when the crimes involve family members," Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said in a release.

The woman lived with her 66-year-old son who was responsible for her care.

What are the details?

On April 5, someone reported to police that they were concerned about the elderly woman who had not been seen since December.

Daniel Shannon told police that his mother had wandered off just before Christmas and hadn't reported it.

"At the time, Shannon explained that his mother walked away from the home on December 21st, 2018," according to a news release. "He claimed this was not the first time his mother disappeared, adding that they just started getting her VA benefits and did not want to report her missing on the off chance that she returned home."

But police became suspicious of Daniel Shannon, whose "story kept changing" throughout the investigation.

Eventually, he admitted to investigators that his mother had died Dec. 21.

"Instead of reporting it, he decided to bury his mother in the backyard so he could continue to receive his mother's Social Security and VA Benefits," the release said. "Shannon told detectives that he needed to keep getting the benefits to help pay for the patent on his invention."

The woman's body was recovered and sent to the medical examiner who will determine the cause of death.

What are the charges?

Police charged Daniel Shannon with fraud and concealment of a body.

The investigation is ongoing and he could face more charges, according to officials.

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