CORNING — The daughter and grandson of an 84-year-old Tehama County woman who apparently died in December have been arrested on suspicion of cashing her retirement and Social Security checks after they allegedly cremated her body on a makeshift barbecue behind their Edith Avenue home.
"You could make a movie out of this," Capt. Paul Hosler of the Tehama County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.
Kathleen Theresa Allmond, 50, and her 30-year-old son, Tony Ray, were arrested Sunday on suspicion of embezzlement, elder abuse and conspiracy, Hosler said.
They were booked into Tehama County Jail in Red Bluff in lieu of $30,000 bail each.
Additional charges may be filed later after the sheriff's investigation is finished, he said.
Although the cause of Ramona Yolanda Allmond's death may never be known, her daughter and grandson allegedly allowed her body to lie on the bedroom floor for a week until moving it to a concrete culvert behind their residence, Hosler said.
The culvert had been used by the family as a makeshift barbecue, he said, noting that the family had used it to cook their Thanksgiving turkey several weeks before Allmond's death.
It's not known if they used it after the alleged cremation. "I hope not," Hosler said.
In an lengthy interview with deputies on Sunday, Kathleen Allmond told them that she and her son had placed the body into the barbecue and cremated it by burning a continuous olive wood fire in the culvert for up to 17 hours, Hosler said. Olive wood, he said, makes an exceptionally hot fire.
Kathleen Allmond also made a necklace with a portion of her mother's skull, which she wore around her neck, Hosler said. She posted a photograph of herself wearing the necklace on her MySpace page, he said.
"It gets really weird when you have a piece of mom's skull hanging around your neck," Hosler said.