A woman has been imprisoned for keeping her 93-year-old mother’s corpse for over a year to claim her benefit checks in Gloversville, NY, USA.

Hope Ruller died in October 2013, aged 93, of natural causes. But her daughter Mary Kersting decided not to register a death or take away the body. For more than a year Ms Kersting cashed her mother’s social security and pension cheques while her body rotted in the flat below.

The old woman’s decomposing body was found by police only 14 months after her death. Over this period of time Kersting lied to her relatives about her mother’s health state and stole more than $13,000 in checks.

In court Kersting claimed she couldn’t afford to bury her mother but pleaded guilty to grand larceny, improperly disposing of a body and endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physcially disabled person.

Kersting was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to carry out 500 hours of community service. Hope Ruller was buried next to her late husband last winter.

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