Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dead Dad Earns Pension from the Freezer

MILAN - An Italian is suspected of hiding his dead father in a freezer for two years so he could keep collecting the old man's pension.

Gaetano Sivieri confessed to police this week he had stashed his father's body in an underground garage near the Alpine town of Aosta, media reports said.

"I needed the money," the 63-year-old was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera newspaper. News agency Ansa said he had drawn nearly 80,000 euros ($105,000) of pension. Sivieri, who faces charges of fraud and concealing a body, said he was driving his 91-year-old father home from a health clinic in January 2005 when he got the idea of hiding the body.

"The problem is that my dad died during the trip, in the car," he was quoted as saying in La Repubblica newspaper.

"There was a moment of panic. I didn't know what to do. Then I got the idea of putting him in the freezer."

Sivieri's son called the police after discovering the body while showing the garage to a prospective buyer.

"I thought there was chicken or rabbit (in it)," son Marco told La Repubblica. "I opened the lid. I saw some nylon wrapping, a pajama and the hand of a man.

"It was upsetting," he said. Marco was unaware of his grandfather's death, believing he was still in the clinic.

A police official confirmed the reports to Reuters on Tuesday and declined to elaborate.

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