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Virginia woman mother’s decomposing body under the blankets, air fresheners: police

Jo-Whitney Outland, 55, of Bristol, Va., was accused of hiding her mother’s dead body in their house for weeks, covering it with dozens of blankets and the surrounding area with air fresheners to mask the smell.
(Bristol Police )

A Virginia woman who was her mother’s dead body in their house for weeks, covering the body with dozens of blankets and the surrounding area with air fresheners to mask the smell, authorities said.

Jo-Whitney Outland, 55, of Bristol, Va., was charged last week with felony concealment of a body. Bristol police detective Steve Crawford said the investigation began Monday when Outland’s family members were concerned about the welfare of her mother Rosemary Outland. Researchers believe Rosemary Outland, 78, died in late December.

Crawford said a letter found in the house and written by the Outland appeared to indicate that her mother died on Dec. 29, and they tried to revive her with CPR.

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Crawford said authorities discovered the body upright in a chair and covered with more than 50 blankets and garments and more than 60 air fresheners. He said medical researchers confirm the identification and cause of death.

“I’ve handled a lot of dead people, but nothing of this size,” Crawford said. “It’s bizarre.”

Crawford said Rosemary’s body was discovered after a relative climbed in the house through a window after they had not heard of her. He said dogs and cats were discovered living in the house, but having taken of the house by the animals to keep under control.

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Outland told WJHL-TV on Thursday that she had covered her mother’s body out of respect.

“Yes, I have air fresheners around her body, because I was in the room with her every night after her death, except for last Monday… I covered her out of respect for my mother, and I covered her with blankets, yes I did,” Outland told WJHL-TV.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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