PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. (CBS4) – Law enforcement say they found the body of a Loveland resident in her son’s backyard in Pinal County, Arizona. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Daniel Shannon.

Daniel Shannon (credit: Pinal County)

Authorities say they responded to the home on April 5 after someone became concerned after not seeing Leonie Shannon, 97,  since December of 2018.

Daniel reportedly told authorities his mother walked away from the home on Dec. 21, and she had walked away before. He said he didn’t file a missing person’s report on the off chance Leonie returned.

In this photo from August 2012, Leonie Shannon, a World War II veteran who was a decoder during the war, poses in her Loveland home holding a photo of herself in military uniform and a copy of “Sisterhood of Spies,” a book about the Office of Strategic Services, where she served. (credit: Loveland Reporter-Herald)

It wasn’t until May 22 when Daniel confessed Leonie died on Dec. 21, and he buried her in the backyard so he could still collect her Social Security and veteran’s benefit checks.

He reportedly told investigators he was using the money to pay for the patent on his invention.

The Loveland Reporter Herald reports Daniel invented a self-closing toilet seat in 2008 in Loveland.

Leonie spent 10 years as a substitute teacher for the Thompson School District and two years as a science teacher at Saint John’s Catholic School. She was also a World War II veteran.

An autopsy is being performed to determine her cause of death.

Daniel faces charges of fraud and concealment of a body. More charges could be filed following the autopsy.

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