Local News

Woman pleads guilty to hiding mother's body

Posted March 25, 2010 2:58 p.m. EDT
Updated March 25, 2010 3:17 p.m. EDT

— A New Hanover County woman pleaded guilty Thursday to hiding her dead mother's body in her home for months to collect her retirement benefits.

Amy Blanche Stewart, 45, of 612 Cherry Laurel Court, pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count each of failure to report a death and concealing a death, authorities said.

Deputies responded to Stewart's home on Dec. 15 after receiving a 911 call and found the body of Stewart's 88-year-old mother, Blanche Matilda Roth, in a bedroom.

Authorities estimated Roth died of natural causes last May.

Investigators determined that Stewart had deposited more than $8,300 from her mother's Social Security and state retirement benefits into her account between July and December.

Stewart was sentenced to 15 to 18 months in prison, but the sentence was suspended to three years on probation. She was ordered to pay $3,354 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and $4,961 to state government.