Squatters who found the mummified remains of an 82-year-old woman who had died in a chair whilst in her Las Vegas home in 2018 dismembered her before burying her in her own backyard three years after her death.
The death of 82-year-old Lucille Payne went unnoticed until April, when squatters moved into the property and made the decision to bury her in the backyard and sell all of her personal possessions, according to Las Vegas police. “After finding her, the decision was made between several people that they were going to dismember her body and bury her and then basically drain her finances and sell off her belongings, fraudulently,” homicide Lt. Ray Spencer told KLAS-TV.
The suspects, who have not been named yet, could face charges of fraud or theft for selling Ms Payne's car and giving her an improper burial. Lucille Payne had lived alone and had no close family, police believe that her death went unnoticed because she paid all her bills automatically, KLAS reported.
Police received a call from a concerned neighbour after they reported hearing digging at the $435,000 property in Northwest Valley, Las Vegas.
“She was not buried very deeply, and an officer started to move the dirt and found her arm inside a very shallow grave in the backyard,” Mr Spencer said.
The coroner initially ruled Ms Payne’s death was a homicide by blunt force trauma.
Evidence later showed she had been dead for several years. Her cause of death has since been changed to undetermined.
Ms Payne’s estate has put the house on the market.
This is an on-going story and we will release more information as it becomes available.