STONE LAKE, Wis. (WCCO/AP) — Sheriff’s officials in northwestern Wisconsin say the bodies of an elderly woman and her son have been found in their home and that the mother may have been dead for years.

When a postal worker notified authorities that mail was uncollected at the rural Stone Lake home in Washburn County, deputies discovered the body of 67-year-old Michael Egan on a bedroom floor. Officials believe he may have been dead for at least a week. They also searched for Egan’s mother, Elizabeth, without success. Ramsey County, Minn., Search and Rescue later joined the effort and the woman’s remains were found on a couch under sleeping bags and plastic in June.

“Apparently her son Michael had been preserving her by using rags dipped in a solution, so she was fairly well preserved,” said newspaper reporter Kathy Hanson of the Sawyer County Record.

WQOW-TV says the woman was last seen six years ago. But Hanson quotes a Washburn County Sheriff’s investigator as saying the son may have lived with his mother’s body since 2008.

Investigators said the woman’s Social Security checks were directly deposited into her bank account and that Michael Egan was using the account.

The mother and son are now buried beside each other in the Stone Lake cemetery.

Authorities decided not to conduct autopsies or further investigate the deaths.

WCCO’s Steve Murphy Interviews Kathy Hanson

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (25)
  1. I know why says:

    Ok, you know exactly what this is… this is an example of what was going on in Asia. People preserving their dead parents/grand parents to keep collecting the social security checks.

    Any bets?

    Overall, this is sad.

    1. Really? says:

      How do you this is what happens in Asia? Are you from Asia?

        1. Patrick Shull says:

          They have been doing this for decades over there collecting money from their parents and or in some cases parents and grandparents and never telling the government that they have died almost decades before. The families over there and probably all over this planet are doing this to collect extra money every month and how the world is now I can understand, people are broke and need money and yeah its wrong in so many ways, but at the same time people are getting desperate and this is one way of doing it if their family member passed away of natural causes.

          1. Eastsider says:

            People are getting desperate? That is a very generic statement meant to excuse immoral behavior and it doesn’t pass muster.

  2. Deep Thinker says:

    It’s always in Wisconsin, never Iowa, never North Dakota or South Dakota, what’s with people from Wisconsin?

    1. Stay out of Wisconson says:

      They use to be union workers, democrats and teachers. You know the liberal whiners,

    2. Moo Moo says:

      Because they are the Redneck state of the upper midwest. Everytime I go to Wisconsin I feel like I’m going to Alabama.

      1. Sconi Man says:

        Ever been to The Blue Goose? Talk about a collection of redneck hilljacks.

  3. Monte Starr says:

    We thought we smelled cabbage…

  4. Speaking my Mind says:

    Don’t judge a story by it’s cover!!

    1. the man could have been mentally disabled
    2. he could have not had any income and wasn’t able to get any social services which by the way, you will see more of this as social services are cut and people are forced out to become homeless
    3. the cost of funerals have skyrocked and social security pays less than 300 death benefit and if the county he lived in has no money to pay for the cost of her funeral he would probably would not have gotten her remains
    4. there were no other family members, why do you think it took this long!
    5. Society is in decline, don’t tell me it’s not, this is a prime example, why did it take the postal worker a week to say anything
    6. we need more public soup kitchens, we need more housing for the poor and we need to re-instate institutions that can care for the mentally insane, the streets is not how to care for them. Yeah I know, where is the money going to come from? How about NOT sending jobs over sea’s, why can’t we open manufacturing here in America, why is it so impossible, why not give these corporations a tax break to get these jobs back here, until the millionares and billionares stop bleeding this country dry, get used to the fact that we are and will become over run by Musulim extreamist, riots will become normal here, the USA is won’t be a third world county but we will NOT be USA. So unless and until society here wakes up, get used to stories like this.

    1. sadder says:

      wake up your self the problem is to many people 215,000 each day with the population rising…7 billion now 12 billion by 2050 and this earth can handle how many?? about 1.5 billon and thats it for any lengh of time…

  5. kate says:

    Looney packer fans…Maybe the son just wasnt ready to say his goodbyes.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I mean my mind was like huh?

  7. Momma of 2 says:

    This world is such a messed up place! This is disgusting. No matter his “reasoning” for doing this, he obviously was mentally ill.

    1. Patrick Shull says:

      The story doesn’t say that this guy was mentally ill at all. More than likely he was broke and probably found his mom had passed away in 08 and decided to move in the house, because more than likely it was already paid off and was living on her benefits. There are going to be a ton more of these stories and people are going to be shocked over and over again, but in reality think about it and you look at your financial issues and look at the rest of the world hurting for money and you will understand why this is happening. Its sad but people are broke and can’t afford funerals or afford much of anything and they see a chance to have some extra money every month that they wouldn’t have had before. Here is a small clue if this might be happening in your neighborhood, one you don’t see your neighbor anymore, two one of their family members is living their and or comes around often, three they are bringing in a brand new ice box. Just some things to look out for.

      1. Sconi Man says:

        Imagine finding your mother dead and never telling anybody or having her remains taken care of…


  8. Steve says:

    Sounds like a Dairyland diary story for Dan B.

  9. Yuck says:

    Anyone else thinking about Norman Bates?

  10. tom says:

    mummy oh my mummy!!!

  11. The Bishop says:

    A liitle Febreze will take care of that

  12. Norman Bates says:

    Yeah? What’s the big deal?


  13. I knew why says:

    I TOLD YA!!!!!!!!!
    They released it on yahoo today! He WAS collecting her checks!

    Yeah… conservative thinking at it’s finest!

  14. karen says:

    It’s so wrong to not give your mom the burial she deserved, and it’s fraud… so yes, it’s wrong OVERALL. However, if he didn’t kill her (a thought?), it was kind of a victimless crime. And he would HAVE to be mentally ill to actually have her in the house decaying. You don’t have to be declared mentally unstable to see that. All the pistons aren’t firing.

  15. Eddy G says:

    After they found the Son’s body and couldn’t figure out where the Mom was they sat down on the couch and waited for the search and rescue team to get there.

    I’m sure his Mom didn’t care if he stayed there and got a little extra cash.
    So what’s the big deal? At least he didn’t eat her..

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