A man who lived with the decaying bodies of his dead mother and twin brother for more than a year said he didn’t report their deaths because he was traumatized.
Robert James Kuefler, 60, was charged last week by police in White Bear, Minnesota, with interference with a dead body or scene of death, a misdemeanor, according to “Inside Edition.”
The macabre living situation crime came to light in September 2016, when neighbors asked police to check on Kuefler’s residence.
Responding officers said the house had the stench of decay. They found the skeletal remains of Kuefler’s mother Evelyn in an upstairs bedroom, and the mummified corpse of his twin brother Richard in the basement, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Autopsies on the bodies showed both died of natural causes; Richard in July 2015, and his mother a month later.
“I was traumatized. What would you do?” Kuefler told The Associated Press on Saturday. “I am not some nut ball. People think I am, but I’m not. I loved them.”
Kuefler told police he found his brother dead in a chair and “eventually moved the body to the bathroom as it was ‘in the way,’ ” according to a court document. He told investigators he knew his mother was dying, but “didn’t want to be around when she died, so he left the house to drive around a couple of hours.”
She was dead in her bed when he returned, according to the Star Tribune.
Kuefler hid the deaths from family members, CBS News reported. He even sent out Christmas cards saying his brother and mom were in bad health and did not want visitors or phone calls.
Police initially accused Kuefler of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, but apparently lacked evidence to support the charge and dropped it, according to the Star Tribune.
Police Capt. Dale Hager told AP that disability and Social Security checks for Kuefler’s mother and brother were directly deposited to their bank accounts, but it did not appear any money was withdrawn. Kuefler told AP he did not tap the accounts.
Hager said authorities decided to file a misdemeanor charge against Kuefler last week so he’ll have access psychological help through the court system.
Kuefler told AP he doesn’t think he needs counseling.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.