A Florida man was charged with multiple counts of fraud and identity theft for allegedly burying his murdered father in his backyard to cash in on his dad’s Social Security checks.
Jason Henry Davis of West Palm Beach made his first court appearance on Wednesday, three years after the skeletal remains of his father were discovered.
"As alleged in the indictment, on April 18, 2013, the skeletal remains of Henry T. Davis, Jr., the father of defendant Jason Davis, were found in the backyard of the Lantana, Florida residence where Henry Davis had lived with the defendant and his ex-wife, Jason Davis’ mother," according to the Office of Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. "The indictment alleges that Jason Davis was present when his father was murdered, as early as 2008, and failed to report his death to the authorities."
"Jason Davis then assumed his father’s identity in order to collect approximately $1,500 in monthly Social Security and HUD-funded pension retirement benefits," they said.
Davis also attempted to get food stamps under his father’s name, and collected $120,000 in benefits over the course several years.
The body was discovered after renters tried to start a garden in the backyard in 2013, finding the remains of Henry Davis Jr.
"Jason Henry Davis was there when his father, Henry Davis Jr., was strangled to death and buried behind their trailer in the Palm Breezes Club trailer park, but he didn’t report the murder and began collecting his dead dad’s pension and Social Security checks, according to a new federal indictment," Newsweek reported. "The 37-year-old has always insisted his dad’s ex-wife—his mom, who died of cancer in 2011—was the killer, a source told The Palm Beach Post. Prosecutors say in court papers that Davis ‘was present’ when his father was murdered, but haven’t revealed any other details about the murder."
Davis’s father retired and moved into the trailer park with his son and ex-wife in 2005. The murder occurred as early as 2008.
A neighbor called Davis a "rotten, no-good you-know-what" for allegedly concealing his own father’s murder just to cash in on government benefits.
"I can’t believe somebody would do that. He’s a rotten, no-good you-know-what, to do something like that to his father," Pauline Farrell, a 92-year-old retired bus driver, told Newsweek. "It’s terrible. I heard of that kind of thing—there was a case like that in Baltimore. The mom died and they put her in the attic."