A Kentucky man allegedly kept his 96-year-old mother’s body frozen for three years in order to continue to collect her retirement benefits and Social Security checks. After authorities went to question Jon Whiteford about the whereabouts of his mother, Faye, Whiteford shot himself with a handgun.

Whiteford’s true motives for storing his mother’s body are unknown and perhaps will remain that way, since Whiteford is now dead. However, according to CNN, police are able to paint a clear enough picture of what happened based on the testimony of witnesses and Whiteford's friends.

Before the death of his mother, Whiteford was reportedly in dire financial condition. Gawker reports that after her death, Whiteford was forced to move out of his mother’s home because of foreclosure. He then rented a dilapidated house in another county where he continued to store his mother's body in a freezer. The bitter winter kept the body frozen until it was discovered last month by authorities. Whiteford lived in a house owned by a friend of his. Records show that Whiteford went to apply for his own benefits. Although he admitted his mother had died, he claimed that he didn’t know what happened to her or where her body was.

Eventually a fraud investigation was launched when authorities grew suspicious of Faye Whiteford's whereabouts. Even Whiteford’s closest friends weren’t sure what happened to his mother: “We didn’t know she had passed away, and we were afraid to ask," Al Fried, a friend of Whiteford, CNN affiliate WLEX reported.

“He wasn’t a bad person. It’s just that he did one bad thing and from that one bad thing led to other bad things. He couldn’t face it and that’s probably why he ended his life,” Fried added.

Three weeks after Whiteford's death, police eventually found his mother's body tied up in tarp, lying partially under a wooden box at the edge of the property.