A West Virginia woman is facing multiple charges, including gross abuse of a corpse, after the body of her 89-year-old grandmother was found in a plastic tub in a Dayton basement in January.
Stacie D. Lauhon-Wheeler, 45, was indicted on two counts of grand theft, misuse of credit cards and gross abuse of a corpse, according to a Montgomery County grand jury report.
On Jan. 31, Mary Alice Lauhon was found in a Virginia Avenue basement after Megan Lauhon, Mary’s granddaughter, called 911 from North Carolina.
“I’ve already called before and they thought I was crazy when I called and I wish that I was crazy,” she told 911 dispatchers in January.
Megan said she was contacted by a friend of her sister, Lauhon-Wheeler, who told her that their grandmother was “deceased and in a freezer in the basement of a home in Dayton, Ohio,” according to a court affidavit.
The resident of the Virginia Avenue home reportedly told investigators that Lauhon-Wheeler lived with her briefly and that she stored some personal items in the garage and basement.
While in the “coal room” of the basement, police found a plastic tub that contained a body, later confirmed to be Mary, according to the affidavit.
A preliminary autopsy did not reveal any signs of injury or trauma.
The autopsy report said Mary weighed only 66 pounds, was curled into the fetal position and was only wearing socks and a disposable diaper. Plastic bags and clothes were piled on top of her body. The plastic tub was not in a freezer, as initially reported.
The report did not have an estimate as to when Mary died, but it did state that her body was badly decomposed and partially mummified.
The grand theft and misuse of credit cards charges were related to Social Security benefits, according to the indictment.
Wheeler-Lauhon was the power of attorney for Mary, according to the affidavit.
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