October 16, 2008

Family Accused of Improvised Cremation

A 50-year-old California woman and her 30-year-old son used an improvised barbecue set-up to cremate the body of an 84-year-old relative, authorities allege.

Authorities have accused Kathleen Theresa Allmond of cremating the body of her mother, Ramona, with the help of her son, Tony Ray, and fashioning a necklace out of part of the late woman's skull, the Los Angeles Times said Thursday.

Tehama County Sheriff's Department officer Capt. Paul Hosler said Wednesday that the suspects are facing elder abuse and embezzlement charges for allegedly disposing of the senior citizen's remains and cashing her retirement and Social Security checks after her death.

The three family members lived together on an area farm. Ramona Allmond died last December of undetermined causes.

Investigators said while the senior citizen's death was likely not a homicide, the mother-son duo allegedly kept their relative's body for a week before cremating it in a makeshift barbecue.

The Times said the alleged crimes were uncovered when an unidentified son of Ramona Allmond contacted authorities after not hearing from his mother.