David Patronis of Monticello said he has been collecting Social Security benefits sent to Marion Patronis, whose body was discovered in a severely decomposed state in the home's crawlspace, the Tallahassee Democrat reported Wednesday.
Police arrested the son Friday on charges of failure to report a death, altering a body, failure to refrigerate or properly embalm a body and making false statements after the body was found.
He also faces a charge of grand theft, said Fred Mosley, chief of the Monticello Police Department. Patronis has collected $13,500 of his mother's Social Security benefits since September, Mosley said.
Police became suspicious after they went to visit Patronis and her mother to deliver news about an out-of-town relative who had recently died. Patronis told them his mother died in Tallahassee last year, the Democrat reported.
That information led police to search Patronis' house last week when no one was home, and it was during the search the body was found, the Democrat reported. The newspaper did not report whether police had obtained a search warrant.
An investigation was ongoing, Mosley said.
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