A MAN has been arrested after his mother’s body was found in a manhole four years after she disappeared.
Sylvia Frens, 82, was reported missing by her daughter in 2018.
During the initial investigation, officers searched her Grand Junction, Colorado home and discovered a foul odor and a large brown stain on her bedroom floor.
The stain was tested for blood but came back negative.
Shortly after, her son Richard Vandervelde, 54, was reportedly spotted driving his mother’s car in Missouri.
Prosecutors allege that when he was pulled over, he lied about his identity and later told police Frens was in California to visit a friend.
Investigators also allege Vandervelde used his mother’s debit cards and withdrew over $10,000 from her bank account, ABC 9 reported.
When police asked him about using the card, Vandervelde allegedly said that his mother authorized him to use it.
But there was no sign of Frens for years until April 26 this year, when the current owners of their former home called police after finding a garbage bag in a manhole at the property.
Frens was identified as the deceased through DNA testing.
Court records described the manhole where the body was found as “six feet deep,” CNN reported.
The autopsy revealed that Frens died from multiple blows to the head.
Police said Vandervelde was living with Frens when she was reported missing, the New York Post reported.
Vandervelde, 54, now faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body, crimes against vulnerable adults, identity theft, theft of $5,000 to $20,000, theft motor vehicle and abusing a corpse, reports ABC 9.
Vandervelde was found in Florida and sent back to Colorado for trial. It is held on a $1 million bond.
Vandervelde is expected to appear in court on June 21.
He’s awaiting his court date at the Mesa County Detention Facility.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5540946/sylvia-frens-missing-person-death-son-colorado/ Mother’s body is found stuffed in a manhole four years after her disappearance when SON is arrested