Authorities in Virginia say a 55-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of concealing her deceased mother’s body using a variety of disturbing methods to keep the odor at bay.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Jo-Whitney Outland is expected to face criminal charges following her relatives’ alleged discovery of 78-year-old Rosemary Outland inside her Pine Street home in Bristol.
The family members reportedly became suspicious and investigated by entering the residence through a window. Once inside, they reportedly found more than 60 air fresheners and dozens of blankets the younger Outland allegedly used to suppress the growing stench of her mother’s decaying remains.
Bristol Police Sgt. Steve Crawford said the body was seated in a chair with her legs propped up.
He said the “whole thing was covered in blankets and there were air fresheners on top of the blankets, around the chair and in between the layers of the blankets.”
In addition to recovering 54 separate blankets or garments on top of the body, Crawford said several of the 66 air fresheners were also filled with carpet cleaner.
“That’s how we found her,” he said. “Just any way to try to mask the odor.”
Officials believe she died in late December of natural causes. Due to the advanced decomposition of the body, however, reports indicate a medical examiner will need to perform an examination to officially identify her.
Police are operating under the belief that the body is that of Rosemary Outland and anticipate a positive ID by the end of the week, as reported by WJHL.
Initial media reports did not reveal a suspected motive for the suspect’s alleged decision to hide her mother’s body or why she did not report the death.
Reports indicate the daughter moved in with her mother at some point prior to the latter’s death and remained in the home in the weeks since.
Jo-Whitney Outland is expected to face a Class 6 felony count of concealment of a body. If convicted, she could face up to five years behind bars and a fine of as much as $2,500.
[Featured image: Jo-Whitney Outland, Bristol Police]