Police: Woman hid mother’s body in freezer to collect disability benefits


SEBASTIAN — A 64-year-old woman who police said hid her mother’s body in a chest freezer inside a garage over concerns her disability benefits might stop, was jailed Thursday. The mother, 93-year-old Marie Hoskins, died from natural causes and was placed in the freezer about two weeks after her death, officers said.

Michele Rene Hoskins

The daughter, Michele Rene Hoskins, of the 100 block of Paddock Street, Sebastian, was charged with failure to report a death and tampering with or destroying evidence. Hoskins was held Friday at the Indian River County Jail on $10,000 bond.

“The daughter was already collecting disability benefits,” Sebastian Police Cpt. Tim Wood said. “She was concerned her own benefits might stop because of her mother’s death.”

Sebastian police obtained the arrest warrant for Hoskins on Thursday. Hoskins lived at the residence with her mother.

“During her interview with police detectives, Michele admitted to finding her mother deceased in her bedroom,” Sebastian police said in a statement. “Michele subsequently purchased a deep freezer to conceal her mother’s death for the concern she would not be able to receive her disability benefits.”

The incident unfolded April 28 when officers responded to a welfare check at the home, located north of Barber Street. A neighbor was concerned about not seeing Marie Hoskins for an extended period of time.

“Officers made multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact anyone at the residence and were unable to obtain any information on the whereabouts of Mrs. Hoskins,” police initially said.

Officers obtained a home key with help from an out-of-town family member. Police went inside the residence and found Michele Hoskins, who initially said she had not seen her mother in some time, officers said.

Police searched the property and found Marie Hoskins’ body in a large freezer in the garage, officials said. Officers also discovered a heavily soiled bed mattress – hidden in thick brush and covered by cut palm tree branches – in the backyard.

Michele Hoskins was arrested and booked into the county jail.

Related Articles

Comments are closed.