Man buried his dead 97-year-old mother in backyard to collect benefits, Arizona police say

Daniel Shannon, 66, charged with fraud and improper disposal of a body

Daniel Shannon, 66, was arrested after investigators discovered he buried his dead mother in his backyard so he could collect her benefits, police said. (Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - An Arizona man was arrested Wednesday after investigators discovered he'd buried his dead mother in his backyard so he could collect her benefits, police said.

Daniel Shannon, 66, is charged with fraud and improper disposal of a body after a two-month investigation into his mother's disappearance.

On April 5, deputies were called to Daniel Shannon's home after someone became concerned about his mother, 97-year-old Leonie Shannon, who had not been seen for months, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. Daniel was supposedly caring for his mother at the home.

Daniel Shannon reportedly told deputies that his mother had walked away from the home on December 21, 2018, but that it was not the first time she had disappeared. He said his mother had just started receiving Veteran's Affairs benefits, and that he did not want to report her missing on the off chance she would return home.

Police said that during the course of the investigation, Shannon's story kept changing until he admitted Wednesday that his mother died on December 21. Instead of reporting it, he buried his mother in the backyard so he could continue recieving her Social Security and VA benefits, according to investigators.

Shannon reportedly told deputies he wanted to use the money to help pay for the patent on an "invention." Police did not say what the invention was.

A search warrant was issued on Wednesday and detectives recovered the woman's body from the backyard, according to officials. A medical examiner is expected to positively idenitfy the remains and determine a cause of death.

Shannon may face additional charges, police said.