Police uncovered the body of 87-year-old Antonino Cutrò in the countryside close to Corleone, western Sicily, Ansa said on Wednesday.
Cutrò is believed to have died at the home he shared with Maria Antonietta Di Mattia, his 50-year-old carer, in November 2012.
After finding the pensioner had died, Di Mattia reportedly kept his body at home for ten days before deciding to bury him in a plot of land she owned. The woman was living in abject poverty and hid Cutrò’s death from the authorities in order to continue claiming his pension, Ansa said.
The carer had looked after Cutrò, known locally as “Uncle Ciccio”, since he moved to the area 20 years ago. Di Mattia also worked for a number of other pensioners in Corleone.
The case is by no means the first of its kind in Italy. In February, a 51-year-old man in Calabria, southern Italy, was arrested for allegedly keeping his mother’s body in a freezer to claim her pension.
Less than a month earlier a woman in Piedmont, north-west Italy, was arrested for the same crime.