Authorities in Gloversville, New York, are investigating the death of a 94-year-old woman whose body may have been decomposing for nearly 14 months as her daughter lived upstairs.
Hope Ruller's body was discovered Dec. 29 after police received a request from a relative to check on her welfare.
It appeared Ruller died as much as 14 months ago, but her death had never been reported, even though she shared the home with her daughter, Mary Kirsteen, and Kirsteen's adult son.
An autopsy failed to determine a cause of death because Ruller's body was severely decomposed, according to the Associated Press.
Investigators for the Gloversville Police Department are looking at the family's financial records for a possible connection to Ruller's death.
"Often times, when people fail to report the death of an elderly person, perhaps there is a financial motive," District Attorney Louise Sira told Albany TWC News.
Richard Ruller, a son of the deceased woman who lived in Colorado, believes there is reason to be suspicious.
“I sent them Christmas cards. One to [my sister], one to my mom and I sent my mom money and the check was cashed,” he told News10.com.
He told the station that his sister told him back in May that his mother was doing well.
Police are treating the death as suspicious but have yet not labeled Kirsteen or her unnamed son a suspect in any crime, WNYT.com reports.
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