Man arrested for hiding mother's death to continue receiving benefits

Posted: Updated:
Daniel Shannon (Pinal County Detention Center) Daniel Shannon (Pinal County Detention Center)
San Tan Valley, AZ (Pinal County Sheriff's Office) -

An Arizona man has been arrested for burying his deceased mother's body in the backyard and not reporting her death in order to keep receiving her benefits.

66-year-old Daniel Shannon was arrested for fraud and improper disposal of a body on Wednesday, following a 2 month investigation into the disappearance of his mother, 97-year-old Leonie Shannon. 

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to a home in San Tan Valley after people became concerned that Leonie Shannon had no been seen since December, 2018. 

Her son, Daniel was caring for her at the time and said his mother had walked away from the home on December 21st, 2018. He said his mother had done this before and that he didn't want to report her missing because they had just started receiving her VA benefits. 

Authorities say that Shannon's story kept changing throughout the investigation. Shannon eventually admitted that his mother had passed away on December 21st, 2018 and instead of reporting it, he buried his mother in the backyard so he could continue receiving her Social Security and VA benefits. He told investigators that he needed the benefits to help pay for the patent on his invention.

After serving a search warrant on Wednesday, detectives found a body in the backyard and are working to identify the remains and determine the cause of death.

Shannon is currently charged with fraud and concealment of a body but may face more charges as the investigation continues.

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