Owosso house

Police were called to a Mid-Michigan home for reports of a woman who died, but it isn’t the cause of death that has investigators digging deeper into the case.

"For whatever reason they didn’t call right away,” Rusty Lamay, detective sergeant with Owosso Police said. “Upon investigation it was determined that she had been there for at least three weeks. There was a lot of decomposition."

Owosso Police were called to Hiram Street on Feb. 3 after a woman and her husband reported the woman’s 76-year-old mother had died. The woman was being cared for by the couple.

When officers arrived, they suspected the woman had been dead for at least three weeks.

Investigators told TV5 the couple appeared to be doing things to try and mask the smell.

"They had done some things to try to cover up the smell for themselves,” Lamay said. “They covered the deceased body. They bought a lot of air freshener. Cans of air freshener. They did some things to the room itself to make it so that smells were not seeping out of the room."

Investigators said there were no obvious signs of how the woman died, but it didn’t appear to be a homicide. Police are working to determine why the couple waited so long to report the body.

"If there was any criminal motive behind it or maybe they didn’t know what to do," Lamay said.

Her death was also reported the same day her Social Security check was deposited.

Police are looking into whether there was a financial motive in not reporting her death earlier.

"If it’s proven that they did cover it up her financial reasons that’s a felony,” Lamay said. “Just failing to report a body in a timely manner is a misdemeanor."

It could take four to six weeks for an autopsy to determine how she died.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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