A Virginia woman faces charges for allegedly living with her mother’s dead body for 44 days.
Police responded to the home of 55-year-old Jo-Whitney Outland on February 11 after receiving a call from a concerned relative, People reports.
— Otimenews (@otimenews_com) February 16, 2019
The relative reportedly told police that she had been unable to reach 78-year-old Rosemary Outland and was concerned. Further, when the relative went to visit her at home and realized no one was there, he or she entered through a window. Once inside the home, the relative discovered a body and then called police.
Police arrived to find Rosemary’s body sitting in a chair. Her corpse was covered in numerous blankets and air fresheners.
Sgt. Steve Crawford, a responding officer, said:
“I pulled back the blankets, and I see the body of an elderly female under these blankets. There were all of these air fresheners around.”
After leaving to obtain a search warrant and protective suit, Crawford returned to the home. He said:
“I went back in, took off the blanket. There were 54 blankets and articles of clothing. And there were air fresheners on top of it and around it. I counted 66 different air fresheners.”
Further, Crawford discovered a letter written by Outland describing her mother’s death that occurred on Dec. 29. The letter explained how Outland attempted to revive her mother with CPR but was unsuccessful.
People reports that Outland allegedly slept next to the corpse in the days following Rosemary’s death. During this time, Outland refused to let relatives in the home and used the blankets and air fresheners in an attempt to mask the smell.
Despite Outland’s strange behavior, Crawford and investigators believe Rosemary died of natural causes, People reports.
After Crawford’s discovery, Outland was located at a relative’s home and arrested. Crawford says that Outland told police during an interview that she did not call 911 because she feared being arrested.
She was charged with concealment of a body but was later released
Outland did an interview with WJHL on Thursday and said:
“I can’t explain to you how come, I couldn’t, except to tell you that I was in a situation where I couldn’t react okay, I don’t know how to explain it, I don’t know what it’s called, but I went into a mode of, just do all the things you do, and come back and stay by your mother. […] And I miss her so much. […] I loved my mother more than anybody in this world, and we were the closest you could possibly imagine.”
Outland has a court appearance scheduled for Feb. 28.