Police Arrive At West Virginia Home To Serve Warrant, Find Highly Decomposed Body

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Kate Hirzel Contributor
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A routine eviction notice took a grisly turn Thursday when West Virginia authorities say they discovered a man and his deceased, decaying mother’s body inside a home.

Law enforcement from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) initially detected “suspicious signs” from inside the home and entered, according to a KCSO press release. Officers found a badly decomposed body and a man hiding inside a closet.

“There was some things that weren’t right. They weren’t getting answers at the door, they were noticing a lot of activities at house as far as smells, flies, things that were not common that are common usually in death scenes,” KCSO Sgt. Joshua Lester told WCHS. (RELATED: House Passes Pandemic Fraud Bill To Recover Billions In Illicit COVID-19 Unemployment Payments)

Michael Robert Johnson, 41, has been charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, WV Metro News reported. Johnson had allegedly been claiming his late mother’s social security benefits and wrongfully claimed between $5,000 to $6,000 in benefits.

Johnson reportedly lived with his mother for approximately two to three years, but his mother passed away at the residence in December 2022, according to the outlet. The deceased body has since been transferred to the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination.

“I know that he had still been living about his day-to-day business while the body had been there,” Lester told WCHS.

Johnson is reportedly being held at the South Central Regional Jail on a $2,500 bond.