JACKSON, Mich. — A woman who lived for months with the corpse of a companion was arraigned Friday on charges of cashing his pension and Social Security checks.
Linda Chase, 71, appeared in court three weeks after police found the remains of Charles Zigler in a chair in the living room of their Jackson house, 40 miles south of Lansing, in southern Michigan.
Chase is not charged with any crimes related to Zigler’s death or her failure to report it. Police believe the 67-year-old died of natural causes in December 2010, although Chase said it was last year.
Chase is charged with forgery for converting checks worth $28,000 intended for Zigler. A judge released her after advising her to appear for all court dates.
“I can’t even walk. Why would I run?” Chase replied.
She declined to comment to the Jackson Citizen Patriot outside court. An attorney has not been assigned yet.
Police entered the home on July 6 after Zigler’s relatives said they hadn’t heard from him and couldn’t get inside. Chase has said she didn’t want to part with the body and talked to it while watching NASCAR races on TV.
Prosecutor Hank Zavislak said a mental-health exam is likely before the case moves forward.
“She knows exactly what she has done,” Zigler’s nephew, Aaron Dryer, said. “It wasn’t because she missed him or because she couldn’t live without him. It was for the sole purpose of taking that money. ... Our family wants her in jail.”