Son finds Dad's old bones in bed
Son finds dad's old bones in bed
BY JONATHAN LEMIRE, ALISON GENDAR and ROBERT F. MOORE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Estranged from his father, a gay Brooklyn man came home yesterday to make peace, only to make a horrifying discovery: His mother had been hiding his dad's corpse in the family's apartment for three years, police sources said.
Joanne Iversen, 73, told her son and cops that she never reported her husband's death because she wanted to continue collecting his Social Security benefits, the sources said.
Her horrific secret was exposed when her 38-year-old son, Paul Iversen, knocked on the apartment door early yesterday. He had not been home since he came out of the closet well before his dad's death, the sources said.
"I want to see Dad," Paul Iversen told his mom, the sources said. "I want to make everything right."
The elderly woman - who almost never allowed anyone into her Bay Ridge apartment - opened the door, sources said. "He's in the bedroom," she told her son.
Paul Iversen walked through the filthy apartment and to his horror found the skeletal remains of his dad, Frank Iversen, 75, in a fetal position under a pile of bed covers and clothes, the sources said.
Sickened by the discovery, he persuaded his mom to go to the cops just after 8 a.m.
At the 68th Precinct stationhouse, Joanne Iversen told cops that she and her husband had made a pact to hide the death of whoever passed away first so the surviving spouse could continue collecting Social Security benefits.
"He died of natural causes," she told cops, the sources said. "It was three years ago."
Detectives questioned the woman for several hours, but released her last night without filing charges. Cops were investigating whether she illegally obtained Social Security checks since her husband's death.
A police source said Joanne Iversen had told another estranged son she had buried her husband years ago.
Tenants in the Bay Ridge Parkway apartment building between Ridge Blvd. and Third Ave. said they noticed Frank Iversen, a quiet man who had worked as a painter, hadn't been around in years. But his wife always told them he had moved upstate.
"I always wondered if he was dead in there," said neighbor Bonnie King. "Frank just disappeared. There was no explanation." Other residents said there were clues, but no one put it all together.
"There were odor issues in that apartment," said Carole Clements, 64. "We complained a lot, but I would have never guessed there was a body inside."
Iversen had no history of medical problems. He hadn't been to the doctor since he got a marriage license.
The medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy to determine how and when Frank Iversen died, authorities said.
"We don't think she's of sound mind to have done something criminal," a police source said.
"Maybe she's sick," Clements said of Joanne Iversen. "That doesn't make her a bad person."
The widow checked herself into Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
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