Man lived with mom’s body in Wayne County home for more than a year, friend says

Photo by Amy Cutler/CBS North Carolina

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office now investigating after they said the body of a woman was found in a mobile home.

Authorities have identified the dead woman as Joyce Eileen Law, 72.

The body appeared to have been there for “several months,” officials said.

Bonnie Cooley, a family friend, said she’s known the family for more than 25 years.

She told CBS North Carolina the woman lived in the McArthur Pond Road home with her adult son. Cooley said the woman had some medical problems and the son helped care for her.

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“He said that when she died that he could not physically let go of her body,” Cooley said, who added that the mother died Jan. 2, 2017.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said it stopped by the home Thursday. The landlord asked them to check on the woman.

Cooley said deputies had been by before, but this time they were more persistent.

Investigators said the man living there told them about the body.

Also found inside the home, a deceased dog. Cooley said it’d been there since October.

“He was not in a good place as far as mental health at all. Nobody can be and make those kinds of decisions,” Cooley said.

Cooley told CBS North Carolina the son suffers from depression and that he’s currently staying with friends out of state.

“Yes, he’s remorseful. He knows he didn’t respect his mother’s remains,” Cooley said.

A sign on the door said the trailer is now condemned.

Authorities are still awaiting the results of that autopsy. They said it’s still too early to tell what, if any charges, will follow.

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