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Ohio woman arrested after burying her mother in backyard then collecting her social security for 14 years

By Mason White 1:20 PM June 20, 2013
Patricia Hodges 

By: John Roberts
A woman was jailed after she buried her mother in their backyard and then lived off her mother’s social security checks.

Patricia Hodges, 66, who now lives in Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty to theft of government money by cashing her mother’s social security checks, federal authorities said. The mother was identified as Janet Kelly.

Hodges had quit her job to care for her elderly mother, but when her mother died she was at a loss on how to support herself. That is when she decided to bury her mother in the backyard of her home in Florida, and then live off her mother’s Social Security checks for 14 years.

The fraud was uncovered when an official of the Social Security Administration went to the home of Hodges to check if Janet Kelly, who would have been 103, was still alive. The investigator said that Hodges claimed that her mother was on a cruise and plans to live with a niece in New York after the cruise.

Hodges was sentenced to 30 days in prison and then six months of house arrest plus three-years probation. She will also have to pay restitution of about $141,000 to the Social Security office.