A man who died in Jackson, California, last month is suspected of leaving his father’s body in a chair in their home in the Sierra Nevada foothills for years after the elderly man’s death to get his funds , the authorities said.
Randall Freer, 63, died July 13 after leaving a store in Jackson, Amador County, suffering from an undisclosed illness, according to Lt. Greg Stark of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.
To conduct a notification of next of kin, the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived at a residence on the 9000 block of Camanche Parkway in Wallace around 10 a.m. on July 13, Stark said. The deputy thought no one was home, but heard what he thought was a fan running.
The MP peered through the window and saw a deceased person sitting in a lounge chair, Stark said. He alerted the Detective Division to help with the investigation.
According to Stark, evidence suggested the man had been there for more than three years due to the extent of the body’s decomposition.
“It was heavily decomposed with partial skeletal remains,” he said. “In my 28 years in law enforcement, this type of investigation is extremely rare. We don’t usually find someone dead that long in an apartment building.”
Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio identified the man at the Wallace home as Ada Clinton Freer, 91, and Randall Freer’s father. There was no sign of foul play; the cause and manner of death due to natural causes are unclear.
Raggio said he conducted his own investigation and went to a bank to confirm that the last time Ada Clinton Freer signed a check was in 2016. However, Randall Freer was on his father’s account, raising funds up until his own death last month.
“The son took on the father’s identity, and I suspect he probably lived with his father and lived off his father,” Raggio said. “When his father died he found him and just left him sitting in the chair in the house and continued to use his money for his own purposes. To use the money, he couldn’t say the father died, so he collected Social Security and pension.”
Stark said he could not confirm the details, citing the ongoing investigation.
Because the father’s date of death was listed as the date he was found, Raggio said the funds would not be recovered unless the family decided to hire a lawyer themselves.
Raggio said that Ada Clinton Freer was found undressed and that the sheriff’s office had previously been called there to conduct welfare checks before his death.
The coroner’s office has contacted one of Ada Clinton Freer’s nephews in San Andreas to take over the property.
Because the body had been sitting there for so long, there was no pungent odor and the skin had taken on a “leathery” appearance, Raggio said.
“It’s been so long since everything dried up,” Raggio said. “He was there for years and years and years. Basically, if the son were alive, the guy would still be sitting there.”
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-18/dead-body-in-home-son-assumes-identity Son left dad’s dead body in California home and assumed his identity for years to use funds, officials say