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Woman charged after dead mother’s remains found in apartment

June 28, 2021 GMT

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A woman who barricaded herself in a northern New Jersey apartment has been charged with concealing her dead mother’s remains after the older woman’s body was found in the unit, authorities said.

Cheryl Gatling, 53, refused to allow Jersey City police inside the apartment when they arrived there around 8:15 p.m. Saturday to conduct a welfare check, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. The standoff lasted about three hours before Gatling eventually opened the door and police found a body believed to be that of 78-year-old Dorothy Gatling.

The body had been in the Arlington Avenue apartment “for an extended period of time,” prosecutors said, but further details were not disclosed. Authorities also have not said who sought the welfare check or why it was requested.

Gatling was charged with concealing human remains, making terroristic threats and two weapons counts. It wasn’t known Monday if she’s retained an attorney.

Neither a cause nor manner of death have yet been determined. The investigation into the death is ongoing, and authorities said more charges could be filed.