A decomposing corpse found sitting in a chair at a California home had been there for three years, according to officials.
Police say that a man who died last month in Jackson, California, is suspected of leaving his father’s body at their home in order to keep accessing his money.
Randall Freer, 63, died as he left a business in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, according to Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Lt Greg Stark.
A sheriff’s deputy then went to notify the man’s family at a home in Wallace, California, where he heard a fan running and saw a dead person sitting in a recliner.
Evidence at the scene suggested the body had been there for a number of years, according to Lt Stark.
“It was severely decomposed with partial skeletal remains,” he told The Los Angeles Times.
“In my 28 years of law enforcement, this type of investigation is extremely rare. We don’t typically find someone who has been dead for so long inside a residence.”
Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio has identified the man inside the home as Ada Clinton Freer, 91, the father of Randall Freer.
Officials say there were no signs of foul play and they expect to find he died of natural causes.
Investigators say the last time that Ada Freer signed a check was 2016, but that his son had been collecting funds from the account until his own death.
“The son assumed the dad’s identity, and I suspect that he was probably living with his dad and living off his father,” Mr. Raggio said.
“When his father died, he discovered him and just left him sitting in the chair in the home and kept using his funds for his own purposes. In order to use the money, he couldn’t say that the dad passed away, so he was collecting Social Security and retirement.
“It had been so long that everything was dried out. He had been there for years and years and years. If the son was still alive, the guy would still be sitting there, basically.”