A Pennsylvania woman was taken into custody on Wednesday, May 27, for storing her dead grandmother's remains in a freezer for 15 years while the family continued to claim benefits on her behalf.
Cynthia Carolyn Black, a 61-year-old woman from York County, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with theft, receiving stolen property, and abuse of a corpse for allegedly hiding her dead grandmother's body in a freezer for 15 years so she could collect her Social Security checks, state police said.
Grandmother Died in 2004
Black told police that she found her grandmother, identified as Glenora Reckford Delahay, dead inside their home in Ardmore in March 2004. She was 97 years old at the time of her passing. Black then carried Delahay's body to the basement of their home and put it in a freezer, because, she said, she needed her Social Security income.
According to Black, three years after her grandmother's death, she even moved the freezer with the body more than 100 miles west of Ardmore, to Dillsburg, and used the Social Security income to pay the mortgage on a home. This is in line with public records that reveal Black moved to Dillsburg in 2007.
Body Found by Potential Home Buyers
State police found the corpse in the freezer of Black's Dillsburg residence on Feb. 7, 2019. Over the course of the investigation, which lasted more than a year, police identified the dead woman as Delahay through DNA testing.
Delahay's body was reportedly found by two women who had visited the Dillsburg home because they were interested in buying it from the bank after it foreclosed. The potential buyers were checking out an outbuilding when they discovered human remains wrapped in trash bags under blankets in a freezer and immediately alerted the police.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Black on Tuesday, May 26, but did not reveal why the investigation took more than 15 months. She was transported to the York County Judicial Center, where she was arraigned. Her bail has been set at $50,000 and she has a tentative preliminary hearing scheduled for June 10.
Read the Pennsylvania State Police's public information release report here.