A man from Van Zandt County is accused of abusing a corpse, according to the local sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s deputies were allegedly told by the man that he kept his dead mother in plastic at their home for more than two weeks, according to the county sheriff’s office.
“Van Zandt County Sheriff’s deputies obtained a search warrant that same day and upon entering the residence they found what appeared to be a human body completely wrapped in plastic and taped up,” the Van Zandt Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, per NBC DFW.
The start of this bizarre tale began on February 20. Deputies from the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, located about an hour east of Dallas, conducted a welfare check at the home of 75-year-old Jacqueline Conrad. They were met by Conrad’s son, who apparently told the deputies she was dead, but that the corpse was in the house.
Douglas Kilburn, 49, claimed that Conrad died at the beginning of the month. He then allegedly decided to roll her body up in plastic and seal it with tape.
Kilburn was arrested for charges that the sheriff’s office said included abuse of a corpse without legal authority. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.
According to the Texas penal code, a person may be charged with abuse of a corpse if the individual knowingly “disinters, disturbs, damages, dissects, in whole or in part, carries away, or treats in an offensive manner a human corpse.” The offense is considered a state jail felony under certain circumstances.
The exact cause of death for Conrad has not been confirmed yet.
Conrad’s body was taken to the Southwestern Institute of Forensics Sciences, which suggests that the cause of her death might be under further investigation.
Although the charges facing Kilburn are unusual, there have been several cases that have included abuse of corpse charges in the local area over the past few years. In 2016, a Fort Worth funeral director received jail time for mishandling dead bodies that were found rotting in his funeral home, per Dallas Morning News.
More recently, two women were charged with capital murder and abuse of a corpse last year for allegedly suffocating a woman and disposing of her body in a deserted field in Dallas County, according to DMN.
Although abuse of a corpse offenses are not tracked on the Dallas Crime Analytics Dashboard, they certainly add to the plague of crime affecting the city of Dallas. So far this year, there have been 46 homicides reported in the city of Dallas, up 4.5% over this same time last year. How many of those murder cases also include abuse of corpse offenses is unclear.