Sebastian police arrest woman living with mother's corpse - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Sebastian police arrest woman living with mother's corpse

By Alex Zequeira bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

SEBASTIAN, FL (WFLX) - Police arrested a woman Monday night who, they believe, was living in a dilapidated home with her mother's corpse for the past six years.

Penelope Jordan, 61, is charged with fraud for cashing her mother's Social Security checks over the last six years since her mother died.

After serving a search warrant at the home Monday night, police found the mummified remains of a woman in bed. It's unclear how the woman died. Jordan identified the woman as her mother, Timmie Jordan, who would be 95 if she were alive today. An autopsy will be done to confirm her identity and attempt to identify a cause of death. 

Penelope Jordan was booked into Indian River County Jail on fraud and theft charges, but investigators are still working on any charges that might stem from the death. Sebastian police believe Jordan did not report her mother's death, so she could continue to receive her Social Security money. Foul play has not been ruled out.

Jordan was living in squalor in a home cluttered with garbage and without running water or electricity. The initial police response to the house was for a code enforcement violation. After determining the house was uninhabitable, police got a search warrant and found the body in a bedroom filled garbage. The body was removed from the home and the investigation continues.

Neighbors were shocked at the discovery. Kathleen Benjamin says, "She was a real sweet lady, hard to believe." Benjamin lives next door to the teacher, Penelope Jordan. Monday she heard the news police found skeletal remains inside.

Across the street, neighbor Louise Martin began playing detective, "My first thought was it's her mother." No one has seen Jordan's mother, Timme, for a long time. Officer Marcinik, says, "Her mother hasn't been seen for quite someone time, maybe even years."

This investigation started Friday when code enforcement paid a visit to the home.The appearance, smell, and dozens of cats were too much for this street. Neighbor Martin says, "When I am out mowing my lawn in the morning, it's just bad and they have an open sewer in the backyard."

Neighbors say the smell has been horrible for years. Many blamed it on the cats roaming free. No one ever thought the smell could be something worse. Neighbor, Theda Furtado, says, "I think it's heartbreaking. It tears me up."

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