PORT HURON (WWJ/AP) – An Oregon woman who left her mother’s body behind a thrift store near Port Huron won’t get her sentence for manslaughter until after the holidays.
Kelly Rhodes, 49, had been charged with murder but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge last month. Authorities believe the death of 89-year-old Mary Grenia of Salem, Ore., in March was partly due to neglect.
Grenia died inside a truck after she and Rhodes were turned away from entering Canada on the Blue Water Bridge. Authorities said Grenia’s body was hidden for more than a week under snow and blankets outside of the thrift store. She was identified using X-ray comparison from medical records. An autopsy revealed heart and lung disease but no sign of trauma.
Graham Sweeney of Hamilton, Ontario, told the Times Herald of Port Huron that Rhodes was traveling to marry him in Canada when her mother died. He said he received a call from Rhodes on March 9 when she woke up after sleeping in her vehicle and found her mother dead.
Rhodes allegedly told Sweeney she was dropping off furniture at the Goodwill store when someone she met in the area called a person to cremate the body. Sweeney said Rhodes paid that person $200. “She was conned,” he said.
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