OLATHE, Kansas – A couple in a Kansas City suburb is facing charges after allegedly hiding a dead parent’s body in their home for over six years in order to continue receiving his retirement benefits. Lynn and Kirk Ritter, both 61, are accused of collecting around $215,000 in benefits meant for 81-year-old Mike Carroll, who had been receiving money from the Social Security Administration and his pension since 2008.
According to federal prosecutors, Carroll’s pacemaker revealed that he passed away in 2016, but his death was never reported to authorities. The indictment stated that Carroll’s daughter, Lynn Ritter, was his primary caregiver. Instead of reporting his death, prosecutors allege that the couple continued to receive and spend the money deposited into his bank account as their own.
The investigation began when Kirk Ritter called the police to report his father-in-law’s death on October 23, 2022. Upon arrival at the couple’s home, officers discovered Carroll’s mummified body in bed. The local medical examiner determined that Carroll died of natural causes, sparking a further probe.
As the investigation unfolded, it was revealed that Carroll had been deceased since around July 1, 2016. Prosecutors allege that the Ritters had been writing checks to themselves from Carroll’s account for their personal benefit. The couple now faces charges of wire fraud and theft of government funds, offenses that could result in up to 20 years in prison if convicted. They are scheduled to appear in court for an initial hearing at a federal courthouse in Kansas City on February 2.