The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah Police Department. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 04-24-23, UPD was contacted by a male subject wishing to report suspicious circumstances following the recent death of his 58-year-old sister. The male, who resided out of state, had traveled to Ukiah after receiving information that his sister had been hospitalized. His sister had passed away earlier that day.
He explained that his elderly mother had been residing in the same Ukiah home as his sister when he last had contact with his mother in 2013. In 08/2013 he was advised that his mother had passed away. His mother had been in poor health, so being told of her death did not arouse suspicion. He was advised by his sister that his mother’s remains had been transported to a medical research facility in accordance with her wishes. His sister continued to live at the same Ukiah residence following their mother’s passing.
He stated he had gone to his sister’s residence over recent days to attend to estate matters. During his check of the residence, he found numerous financial documents in his mother’s name, including recent banking and checking account activity. This was odd as his mother’s accounts should have been closed for approximately ten years. Because of this, he contacted UPD. UPD Detectives were advised of the circumstances and assumed the investigation.
During the investigation, detectives learned that there was no official record of the mother’s passing, such as a death certificate, as would normally be done for any reported death. Based on the recent banking activity and lack of any documentation of the mother’s death, it was suspected that the sister had possibly hidden the death from officials in order to keep her mother’s accounts open. This would allow her to maintain access to her mother’s finances. Documents located in the residence supported this suspicion.
As part of the investigation, a search of the property was conducted. Skeletal remains were located on the premises. These remains were then collected by the Coroner’s Office and later positively identified as the mothers. The County Forensic Pathologist examined the remains and determined the cause of death to be natural.
Based on all evidence gathered in the investigation, it was believed the sister had concealed her mother’s death from authorities in order to financially benefit via fraud following her mother’s passing. Due to the fact the sister was now deceased, a lack of additional investigative leads, and no evidence supporting a homicide, this case is no longer under investigation.