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SEBASTIAN, Fla. – A Florida woman is accused of hiding her mother’s dead body in a freezer so she could keep receiving her Social Security benefits, authorities said.

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Michele Renee Hoskins, 64, of Sebastian, was arrested Thursday and charged with failing to report a death and tampering with evidence, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

According to the sheriff’s office, Hoskins told authorities she wanted the death of her mother, Marie Hoskins, kept a secret so she could continue to receive the woman’s Social Security benefit payments, TCPalm.com reported.

On April 28, officers with the Sebastian Police Department located the body of Marie Hoskins, 93, deceased inside a chest freezer in the garage of a residence after multiple neighbors requested a welfare check, WPTV reported.

The sheriff’s office said that Marie Hoskins died of natural causes and her body was found approximately two weeks after her death.

A medical examiner determined Hoskins died from heart disease and found only “acceptable amounts of acetaminophen and caffeine” in her body through toxicology screenings, TCPalm.com reported.

Body of 93-year-old Florida woman found in freezer

“(Michele Hoskins) found her mother deceased in her bed and decided not to contact authorities so that she could continue to receive Social Security disability benefits that she would not be afforded if it was known that her mother was deceased,” Detective Kenneth McDonough wrote in an arrest affidavit.

Michele Hoskins bought the freezer to conceal her mother’s body, WPBF-TV reported. Authorities also found a heavily soiled bed mattress concealed in thick brush and covered by cut palm tree branches in the backyard, according to the television station.

Police originally went to the woman’s address on April 27 to conduct a welfare check, TCPalm.com reported. Michele Hoskins told detectives that her mother was not a home because she was at a doctor’s appointment but could not name the doctor or say how her mother got to the office, according to the website.

Police executed a search warrant the next day and found Marie Hoskins’ body, the sheriff’s office said.

When questioned, Michele Hoskins said she purchased the freezer online from Walmart.

Marie Hoskins was married to professional jazz saxophonist George Vannoy, who died at 86 in 2019, TCPalm.com reported.

They owned the Sebastian home since 2006, according to tax records.

Michele Hoskins remained in jail and bail was set at $10,000 after her first appearance in court on Friday, according to Indian River County online booking records.