Paula Bergold Peshtigo County, Wisconsin woman arrested after hiding deceased mom’s corpse in basement- while living off the dead woman’s social security.
An under employed Wisconsin woman is alleged to have hidden her mother’s corpse in the basement while living off the mom’s Social Security checks, authorities said.
Paula Ann Bergold, 60, of Town of Peshtigo is said to have hatched the plan months ago when her 89 year old mother, Ruby Bergold, died and didn’t have a steady income to support herself, WBAY reported.
A neighbor called the Marinette County Sheriff’s Deputies office and told them she hadn’t seen Ruby since May and was concerned that Paula was ‘being evasive to where Ruby might be.’
Police responded to the home last week and found a note taped to the door that said, ‘Ruby has gone out of town to visit some friends of ours. Paula.’
At the time of the Sept 13 welfare check, fox11online reported Paula letting police in immediately, and, while officers were unable to locate Ruby, they noticed several things that convinced them to investigate further, including unopened mail and a box of mothballs near the entrance.
Several days later police returned where upon further investigation they noticed a stench of a decaying body. Upon being pressed, Paula Bergold came clean, telling cops her mother died in a chair and that she couldn’t bring herself to alert authorities.
When the corpse started to smell, she said she put her it in a plastic container and stashed it in a plastic tub in the basement.
Ruby Bergold’s body was removed from the home and transported to Fond du Lac for an autopsy. Investigators identified the body through the serial number on Ruby’s pacemaker.
Paula was arrested on September 18 and appeared in court 5 days later where she was charged with hiding a corpse, failing to report a death and obstruction.
The court set cash bond at $10,000.
A specific date for Ruby’s death was not provided in the criminal complaint.
Not immediately clear is how the elderly mother and daughter managed to survive leading up to the older woman’s death – and whether they lived minimally off the monthly government check.
Bergold’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 7.