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Jackson Woman Tended Dead Friend's Corpse, Watched NASCAR

JACKSON (WWJ/AP) - A woman admits she kept the dead body of her friend in the Jackson home they shared but says it was for months, not more than a year as police believe.

Charles Zigler's mummified body was discovered last week covered in a chair.

Linda Chase told the Jackson Citizen Patriot she regrets her actions and feels horrible about it, but she just didn't want to be alone.  "He was the only guy who was ever nice to me," she added.

Chase said she and Zigler were close friends, but not romantically involved, and had lived together for 10 years.  She kept the body clean and dressed and talked to it while watching NASCAR on television.

It's believed Zigler had died about 18 months ago.

Chase admits that, even before Zigler died, she would sign his name and cash his social security benefit checks. She said she knows police are investigating and she is worried she may go to prison.

Police believe the 67-year-old Zigler died of natural causes in December 2010, but Chase says it was only last December.  Family members said he had been ill with emphysema for quite some time and used an oxygen tank to breathe.

Zigler's son, Wally Zigler, said he hadn't spoken to his father in a long time -- but what Chase did "wasn't right."

Chase has not yet been charged in the case as the investigation continues.

Get complete coverage of this story from the Patriot at this link.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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