Pa. woman accused of keeping grandmother's remains in freezer heading to trial

A Pennsylvania woman is heading to trial on charges that she kept her maternal grandmother’s remains in a freezer for a decade and a half and continued to receive the dead woman’s Social Security checks for a portion of that time.

Cynthia Black, 61, agreed Monday to allow a York County judge to decide based on allegations in court documents whether there was enough evidence for her to stand trial on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and abuse of corpse.

In return, the prosecutor said she would not add counts of neglect of a care dependent person and unsworn falsification to authorities.

Police were summoned to a foreclosed home in Dillsburg in February 2019 after two potential buyers reported finding skeletal remains in a white chest freezer. DNA was used to identify the remains, which were in black garbage bags, as those of Glenora Reckord Delahay, born in 1906.

MORE: Woman kept Ardmore grandmother in freezer for over 16 years in benefits scam, police say

State police allege that Black told them she found her grandmother dead in their home in Ardmore in 2004 but kept the body in a basement freezer, which she moved to Dillsburg in 2007, and used federal Social Security payments to cover the mortgage. Police said Social Security paid $186,000 for Delahay from 2001 to 2010.

At the preliminary hearing, Black's public defender asked a state police investigator the date of the last Social Security payment — which was in November 2010 — and the names on the bank account. Black, who is free on $50,000 unsecured bail, declined to comment outside court. Her formal arraignment is scheduled Aug. 5.


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