Ohio Woman Buried Mom In Yard, Collected 14 Years Worth Of Government Checks

An Ohio woman who buried her mom in her yard is now facing jail time.

Authorities in Columbus, Ohio say a woman who buried her mother in her yard – and hid her death to collect 14 years of government checks – has been sentenced to 30 days in prison.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Marrietta resident Patricia Hodges, age 65, was also sentenced to six months of house arrest after her prison stay and ordered to pay back more than $141,000.

The investigation began in 2011 when Social Security officials decided to physically check in on Janet Kelly to be sure that she was the one collecting the checks.

It has not be reported what exactly prompted their curiosity; however, it was during this visit that Hodges told them her mother was on a cruise.

One day after her visit from the government officials, Hodges confessed to authorities that her mother had passed away in 1997 at the age of 88 and that she had buried her in the yard of the Lake Worth, Florida home they both shared. Kelly’s body was recovered in 2012.

Hodges admits she had kept her mother’s death – which she claims was from “natural” causes – a secret in order to collect the government checks.

Court documents explain that Hodges kept her dead mother’s checks to support herself after being left by her husband and having no other income. She did not, however, discuss why chose not to inform anyone of her mom’s passing.

“All I can say is: Sorry,” she offered the court.

In 2012, on the day that investigators uncovered Kelly’s body, Hodges and her husband, Marvin, were both charged with growing marijuana. Her husband was sentenced to eight months in prison. At that time, no charges concerning the buried body were laid.

In December 2011, Hodges herself was sent to a state prison for six months after a pot-growing operation was found in her home.

During her most recent court appearance, Hodges, who has at least five criminal convictions under her belt, argued that she was too sick and old for prison. Suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she asked for a one day sentence, followed by house arrest. Hodges also has lung cancer, which is in remission.

She also claimed if she was not sent to prison, she would go back to school to obtain a college degree with the future goal of paying back the stolen government funds.

What do you believe the sentence should be for someone who buried their mom in their yard to collect Social Security checks?

[Image via ShutterStock]