Press Releases

Press Release - UPD Case #23-0835 - Suspicious Death Investigation

Date: 04-24-2023
Location: 700 block El Rio Dr. 
Investigation: Suspicious Circumstances 

On 04-24-23, UPD was contacted by a male subject wishing to report suspicious circumstances following the 
recent death of his 58-year-old sister. The male, who resided out of state, had traveled to Ukiah after receiving 
information that his sister had been hospitalized. His sister had passed away earlier that day. 

He explained that his elderly mother had been residing in the same Ukiah home as his sister when he last had 
contact with his mother in 2013. In 08/2013 he was advised that his mother had passed away. His mother had 
been in poor health, so being told of her death did not arouse suspicion. He was advised by his sister that his 
mother’s remains had been transported to a medical research facility in accordance with her wishes. His sister 
continued to live at the same Ukiah residence following their mothers passing. 

He stated he had gone to his sister’s residence over recent days to attend to estate matters. During his check of 
the residence, he found numerous financial documents in his mother’s name, including recent banking and 
checking account activity. This was odd as his mother’s accounts should have been closed for approximately 
ten years. Because of this, he contacted UPD. UPD Detectives were advised of the circumstances and assumed 
the investigation. 

During the investigation detectives learned that there was no official record of the mother’s passing, such as a 
death certificate, as would normally be done for any reported death. Based on the recent banking activity and 
lack of any documentation of the mother’s death, it was suspected that the sister had possibly hidden the death 
from officials in order to keep her mother’s accounts open. This would allow her to maintain access to her 
mother’s finances. Documents located in the residence supported this suspicion. 

As part of the investigation, a search of the property was conducted. Skeletal remains were located on the 
premises. These remains were then collected by the Coroner’s Office and later positively identified as the 
mothers. The County Forensic Pathologist examined the remains and determined the cause of death to be 

Based on all evidence gathered in the investigation, it was believed the sister had concealed her mother’s death 
from authorities in order to financially benefit via fraud following her mother’s passing. Due to the fact the 
sister was now deceased, a lack of additional investigative leads, and no evidence supporting a homicide, this 
case is no longer under investigation. 

Det. Sgt. A. Snyder

Download: 23-0835-pr