Crime

Social Security investigation led to discovery of body in Lexington storage unit

A mummified body was found in January at Econo Self Storage on James Court in Lexington. The body was that of a Texas man who died in 1990. His daughter was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison for illegally receiving $245,000 in Social Security benefits after her father's death.
A mummified body was found in January at Econo Self Storage on James Court in Lexington. The body was that of a Texas man who died in 1990. His daughter was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison for illegally receiving $245,000 in Social Security benefits after her father's death. Herald-Leader

Lexington police have a "hunch" about the identity of the human remains found Wednesday in a storage unit, and they are working with the U.S. Social Security Administration in the investigation, a police spokeswoman said Thursday.

Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said the remains have not yet been identified, but the person apparently had been dead "for an extended period of time."

Lexington police initially got involved in the case at the request of federal authorities investigating a "potential financial crime," she said.

Police said Wednesday that they went to the storage center after receiving a tip from a federal agency, which Roberts said Thursday was the Social Security Administration.

Police "are aware" of the identity of the person who rented the storage unit, Roberts said, and are working with federal officials in the investigation.

Asked whether authorities have interviewed the person who rented the unit, Roberts said she was unsure whether police or federal authorities will conduct an interview. It could be both, she said.

The remains were found after members of the Lexington robbery/homicide division went to the Econo-Self Storage at 121 James Court.

Roberts said Social Security officials had asked Lexington police to assist them in serving a search warrant at the storage unit.

After arriving there Wednesday, a K-9 unit identified the scent of human remains, she said.

"Inside the facility, we recovered human remains, which appeared to have been there an extended period of time," Roberts said.

The body was taken to Frankfort, where an autopsy was to be performed Thursday, the Fayette coroner's office said.

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