BRISTOL, Va. — A woman in Virginia has been charged with concealing the body of her mother using dozens of blankets and air fresheners.
According to the Bristol Police Department, Jo-Whitney Outland, 55, has been living in the house with her mother’s body since December.
Detective Sergeant Steve Crawford said the investigation began when a relative of 78-year-old, Rosemary Outland, wasn't able to get in contact with her.
Police said the relative then jumped through the window of Rosemary's home where they discovered the decomposing body.
"The body was in a chair her legs were propped up and the whole thing was covered in blankets and there were air fresheners on top of the blankets, around the chair and in between the layers of the blankets," said Crawford. "That's how we found her, just anyway to try to mask the odor."
Crawford also said, "I looked at it and I didn't believe that anybody had done, intentionally done anything to her, but that's what I was able to do at the scene."
Rosemary lived at the home with her daughter, Jo-Whitney who was her primary caretaker.
WJHL spoke to the daughter, who described how her mother died.
"She woke up and said 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe' and I went over to her and I said, 'mom, what's wrong you can't breathe?' and then she died. I tried to give her CPR, and it didn't work," Outland said.
"...and I miss her so much...I loved my mother more than anybody in this world and we were the closest you could possibly imagine," Outland said.
She said she did continue to live with her mother’s body.
"Yes, I put air fresheners around her body because I was in the room with her every night after she died, except for this past Monday...I covered her up out of respect for my mother, and I covered her up with blankets, yes I did," Outland said.
WJHL asked her, why she didn’t call police when her mother died.
"I can't explain to you how come, I couldn't, except to tell you that I was in a situation where I couldn't react okay, I don't know how to explain it, I don't know what it's called, but I went into a mode of, just do all the things you do, and come back and stay by your mother," Outland said.
Outland is due in court for an arraignment hearing in the coming weeks.