PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania man is accused of using his dead father’s bank card to purchase a barrel for hiding the corpse, authorities said on Wednesday.
David J. Thomas, 31, allegedly wanted to collect his father’s checks and withdraw cash for drugs, Westmoreland County Detective John Clark wrote in an affidavit.
Thomas was charged with identity theft and abuse of a corpse, although further charges were possible after an autopsy was completed on Wednesday, according to the affidavit.
Officers discovered the body of David F. Thomas, 59, while performing a welfare check at his Pittsburgh-area home on Tuesday, it said.
The son said his father was at a hospital but the officers, noticing a foul smell, questioned him about a barrel that then fell over, it said.
“Part of the body of Dave F. Thomas slid out on to the basement floor,” Clark wrote in the affidavit.
Neighbors told police they had not seen the elder Thomas in several weeks.
The son told police he discovered his father dead and hid the body in a barrel he purchased with the elder man’s bank card, according to the affidavit.
Thomas was being held at a local prison.
The autopsy was completed, but the cause of death has not been released, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office.
Reporting by Elizabeth Daley; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst