A man in Kolkata, India, lost his mother in 2015, but she didn't go far — he preserved the 87-year-old’s body in a freezer for about three years using chemicals.
However, the 50-year-old son apparently didn’t mummify his mother, Beena Majumdar, out of desolation. He reportedly did to cash in her pension by taking her thumb impression.
Subhabrata Majumdar, who studied leather technology, has been detained by Kolkata police. The authorities not only questioned him but also interrogated his elderly father, Gopal Chandra Majumdar.
The body of Beena Majumdar was recovered from inside a freezer meant to keep meat, a senior police officer said.
The bizarre episode unfolded when officers from the local station and the Kolkata homicide department acted on a tip-off from the neighbors.
"There were complaints that even if no one was present at the place, the two air-conditioners were always running and that all the doors and windows were shut. Subhabrata's father Gopal had explained it away by saying his son works with leather," said an official of Kolkata station. "During our search, Subhabrata was hesitant about opening the door on the ground floor, but when he had to, under pressure, we found a freezer and a coffin there."
The neighbors knew the woman had died at a private hospital, but were clueless about what happened to her body.
There were two freezers in the locked room.
The body of the woman was kept in one of the freezers, while the other was empty, the officer said, adding "we are looking for what purpose the second freezer was there."
"The body of the woman was found cut open from her chest till the abdomen with the internal organs removed. It seems the body was embalmed by somebody and then kept inside the freezer. We are suspecting her son Subhabrata's involvement in it. He has been detained and we are talking to him and his father," the officer explained.
The police are further digging into the matter to find out whether there is something else that the father son duo are trying to hide.
"Her finger impression was used to get the pension all these months. We are looking whether it was only for the pension that the body was preserved or there was something else behind the act," the police officer continued.
Despite the speculations, Subhabrata insisted he believed his mother would be brought back to life one day. But the fact he kept withdrawing money every month is indicative of the fact his motives were more selfish than sentimental.
Further weakening Subhabrata’s defense is the fact he was jobless for at least two years, which implies the son could have relied on his dead mother to make the ends meet — which doesn’t make it any less horrific.
The incident is eerily similar to a 2015 case, when Partha De, a 46-year-old Indian software engineer, spent months with the decomposed bodies of his sister and two pet dogs.