Police: Arizona man buried mom in backyard to keep receiving her benefits

Police: Arizona man buried mom in backyard to keep receiving her benefits

Daniel Shannon was arrested Wednesday after admitting he buried his mother in the backyard of their home.

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. — An Arizona man admitted to burying his 97-year-old mother in his backyard so he could continue to receive her Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits, police said.

Daniel Shannon, 67, of San Tan Valley, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of fraud and improper disposal of a body, the Arizona Republic reported.

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Shannon's arrest comes after authorities conducted an investigation into the disappearance of his mother, Leonie Shannon, KTVK reported.

Daniel Shannon told detectives he did not report his mother’s death so "he could continue to receive his mother’s Social Security and VA benefits," Pinal County Sheriff’s Office officials said in a statement.

The Sheriff's Office first learned of Leonie Shannon's disappearance on April 5, when a person called and told deputies about a concern about the woman's welfare. Leonie Shannon had not been seen since December, KNXV reported.

When deputies made a welfare check, Daniel Shannon allegedly said his mother had walked away from their home and he did not want to report her missing, in case she returned home, the television station reported.

After being questioned Wednesday, police said Daniel Shannon admitted his mother died Dec. 21 and that he buried her in the backyard, KSAZ reported. He told police he needed to keep cashing his mother's checks to "help pay for the patent on his invention," officials said.

While the patent was not specified, officials pointed to a 2008 story in the Casper Star-Tribune about a self-closing toilet seat Shannon developed as the possible invention, KNXV reported.