Ohio Mother Steals SS Benefits From Deceased Daughter
Social security fraud is always a serious matter, but in the case of Cleveland resident India N. Parker, there was more to the gruesome story than theft alone. Following an investigation by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, Parker has been sentenced to 16 months in prison, not only for stealing over $41,000 in government benefits — but for abusing the corpse of her own deceased daughter.
Social Security Theft Takes a Grisly Turn
Cases of social security theft are generally just that: cases of social security theft. But in the case of 37-year-old Cleveland resident India N. Parker, financial misdeeds were accompanied by a more morbid sort of crime.
India Parker was the mother of a girl named Kaliyah Parker, aged 6. According to Parker’s statements in court, Kaliyah was killed in late 2006 when the tiny child was accidentally crushed beneath a toppling bookcase. (Earlier, she had given investigators a very different story, originally saying that one morning, Kaliyah simply never woke up.)
When Kaliyah passed away, Parker concealed her daughter’s passing. Rather than reporting the death to authorities, Parker hid Kaliyah’s partially decayed body in a garbage bag on her lawn. The bag was simply picked up and taken away by sanitation workers, and Kaliyah’s body was never recovered.
But why would Parker act in such a way? What would compel her to hide her own daughter’s death from the world?
Over $41,000 in Stolen Benefits
In life, Kaliyah had been the recipient of social security benefits. While it is a common misconception that SSA benefit programs are reserved only for the elderly segment of the population, the truth is that many children and minors receive government benefits as well.
Parker sought to hide Kaliyah’s body, and even her death itself, from family, friends — and the SSA. With social workers, investigators, and SSA personnel in the dark regarding the true circumstances of Kaliyah’s untimely passing, Parker continued to siphon government benefits intended for her deceased daughter until she had accumulated over $41,000. (Specifically, she collected $40,236 in social security benefits, and an additional $1,393 in food stamps.)
But Parker couldn’t hide forever. Following an investigation by the SSA Office of the Inspector General, Parker’s case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Trippi. In 2013, the Cleveland mother pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of government property, in addition to five counts of making false statements. She has also been charged with tampering with evidence, abuse against a corpse, and criminal mischief.
Ultimately, Parker was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Both relatives and members of the legal community were stunned by the morbid details surrounding Kaliyah’s tragic death. “She threw Kaliyah in a garbage can like trash,” said Amber Hill, a paternal aunt. Prosecutor Daniel Cleary stated, “It is rare that a case shocks us the way that this one does.” Cleary added, “We will never know what happened.”
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