Mummified remains ID'd, dead man's daughter arrested

Judith Broughton, 49, was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a federal felony charge of theft of public money, property or receipts - to wit, stealing Social Security benefits intended for her father, who was found dead
CBS affiliate WKYT

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Almost four months after a man's mummified remains were found inside a Lexington storage unit, police have arrested the man's daughter for allegedly stealing his Social Security checks, reports CBS affiliate WKYT.

Police discovered the remains of Luther Broughton on Jan. 8, though identifying the body took some time, according to the station. On April 10, U.S. marshals arrested 49-year-old Judith Maria Broughton in Terlingua, Texas, in Brewster County.

WKYT reports that Judith Broughton was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a federal felony charge of theft of public money, property or receipts. The indictment accuses her of stealing $155,667 of her father's Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefits from November 1997 until August 2011. She has pleaded not guilty.

Federal authorities are also searching for the indicted woman's mother, who was last seen in March. The court documents state that Judith Broughton's mother "has not been seen since early March of 2014, and a search has been instigated."

Lexington police found Luther Broughton's body in the storage unit after the Social Security Administration asked for help to serve a search warrant there. According to federal court documents, Social Security agent Bianca Mendez testified that Judith Broughton rented the storage unit in 1990 under her name and her father's name, and she has been making payments on it ever since.

According to the documents, when Judith Broughton signed the contract to rent the unit, "she requested that she never receive correspondence from the storage unit company," the building's owner, Bob Sigler, told investigators.

Social Security has a practice of getting in touch with anyone older than 100 as part of its Centenary Project, and the investigation began when the agency did so in this case, court documents show. The investigation showed that the Social Security checks were mailed to a P.O. Box owned by Judith Broughton from 1997 to 2006, when they started being deposited directly into a Texas bank account to which Judith Broughton had access.

Last week, a federal judge granted an order requiring Judith Broughton to provide handwriting samples in an attempt to determine who endorsed the Social Security checks that were sent to her address.

Investigators have not revealed how long Luther Broughton has been dead or how his remains wound up in Kentucky, WKYT reports.

Court documents state that Judith Broughton earns $270 a month working for the National Psychic Network. She is currently being held without bond in the West Texas Detention Center. Authorities have not said if she is a suspect in her mother's disappearance.