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American couple charged with collecting dead dad’s benefits while they hid his body for six years

Mike Carroll’s pacemaker showed that he died in 2016 aged 81 but Overland Park police did not discover his body until 2022  (PA)
Mike Carroll’s pacemaker showed that he died in 2016 aged 81 but Overland Park police did not discover his body until 2022 (PA)

An American couple has been charged with fraudulently collecting a dead relative’s retirement benefits while they hid his body for six years.

Prosecutors say Lynn Ritter and Kirk Ritter, both 61, continued depositing and spending from Mike Carroll's bank account while his body became "mummified" on a bed in the home he owned.

Mr Carroll’s pacemaker showed that he died in 2016 aged 81 but Overland Park police did not discover his body until 2022 after his son-in-law, Kirk Ritter, called police to report his death in the Kansas City suburb.

Prosecutors have said the pension and Social Security payments Mr Carroll received over the six years after his death totalled $216,067.

Family members told the Kansas City Star that the Ritters would repeatedly give them excuses about why Mr Carroll could never take a phone call or visit while leading them to believe that Mr Carroll, Lynn Ritter’s father, was still alive.

The pair are due to appear in federal court to face several charges on February 2.

They didn't respond to phone and email messages from the newspaper, and court documents do not list a defence attorney representing them.

Bank records from that time showed cheques being written from Mr Carroll's bank account and cashed by Lynn and Kirk Ritter.