Women who drove dead man to his bank and withdrew money charged with abusing corpse

Two women have been charged in the US with alleged abuse of a corpse after propping up his body to withdraw money from his bank account, police said.

Loreen Feralo, 55, and Karen Kasbohm, 63, lived with 80-year-old Douglas Layman in a house in the town of Ashtabula on the shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio, NBC, Sky’s US partner, said.

The women were said to have found their housemate dead on Monday, and, instead of reporting his death, carried his body to the front seat of his car, where they propped it up, and drove to his bank where they took out an undisclosed amount, which the New York Post put at $900 (£700).

They were also charged with theft after being arrested on Wednesday, other sources, including the Law and Crime website said, quoting court records.

Loreen Feralo. Pic: WKYC/Ashtabula Police
Loreen Feralo. Pic: WKYC/Ashtabula Police

Karen Kasbohm. Pic: WKYC/Ashtabula Police
Karen Kasbohm. Pic: WKYC/Ashtabula Police

The trio had been to the bank together before and were known to staff there, Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell said in a statement.

Mr Layman had even allowed them to withdraw money from his account when the trio had visited the bank in the past, Chief Stell said.

The suspects used the bank’s drive-through till, Chief Stell told the Star Beacon, but their scheme began to come apart when they took the body to the Ashtabula County Medical Center.

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They left the body there “without providing any information to the hospital. They just left him”, Chief Stell told Fox 8.

One of the pair later called to give staff some details, and the body was identified as Mr Layman, the chief said.

Officers went to Mr Layman’s Ashtabula home, where the women admitted what they’d done.

The suspects have appeared in court, police said, though it was not clear if they have entered pleas.

WKYC, based in nearby Cleveland, said Kasbohm’s bond was set at $5,000 (£3,900), and Feralo was ordered to appear next week.

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Chief Stell said additional charges were possible.

The county prosecutor’s office and the county public defender’s office have been asked for comment.

The macabre allegations are similar to the plot of the 1989 movie Weekend at Bernie’s, in which two work colleagues discover that their boss is dead after arriving at his house for a party, and try to persuade guests he is still alive to avoid being falsely suspected of killing him.