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Woman accused of concealing mother’s death, getting benefits

July 14, 2021 GMT

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois woman has been accused of concealing her mother’s death and continuing to accept the financial benefits and assistance the woman received, authorities said Wednesday.

Police on Monday found of the body of 80-year-old Karen Hayashi in a bedroom of the home shared with her daughter. A neighbor had requested a well-being check.

Reena S. Hayashi, 48, of Fairview Heights is charged in St. Clair County Circuit Court with two counts of concealing a death and one count of obstructing justice. Hayashi’s bail was set at $60,000.

When police asked her about her mother, Reena Hayashi told them she had moved to Hawaii, which resulted in the obstruction charges.

Prosecutors contend Reena Hayashi concealed the death of Karen Hayashi from March 1 through July 11 by using air fresheners in the house to cover up the odor.

“We’re still trying to figure out when she died, but her body had been there well over a year,” Fairview Heights police spokesman Officer Tim Mueller said Wednesday.

The daughter allegedly continued to file Karen Hayashi’s taxes and accept Karen Hayashi’s financial benefits and assistance after the woman’s death.”

It wasn’t immediately known if Reena Hayashi has obtained legal representation.