Police: Men Hid Mother's Body to Collect Social Security

Police: Men Hid Mother's Body to Collect Social Security

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(Cleveland-AP) -- Cleveland police believe a suicide attempt may be a man's way of showing remorse over hiding his mother's body for nine months so he and his brother could keep collecting her monthly Social Security checks.

Thirty-four-year-old Brett Burton told police that he and his brother, 39-year-old Christian Burton, had been cashing their mother's government checks since she died in September.

The younger Burton was sent to a hospital yesterday after he tried to kill himself in his jail cell.

The decomposed body of 62-year-old Diane Burton was found Tuesday at a rented storage locker. Brett Burton said she died of natural causes.

Brett Burton is charged with forgery, theft, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and having an open container of beer.

The Burton brothers and their mother had lived in Utah for 17 years before moving back to Cleveland last year.

Christian Burton has a history of drunken-driving convictions, which put him in a Utah prison for six months ending in January 2002. Brett Burton has been arrested for drunken driving and disorderly conduct, and once spent 60 days in jail in Utah on a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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