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Mother accused of storing daughters body in her house for over a year faces criminal charges

October 1, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mother accused of storing daughters body in her house for over a year faces criminal charges

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The mother of a 13-year-old girl, whose remains were discovered at a landfill stuffed in a trunk, will face criminal charges, as prosecutors allege that the body was stored in her house for a year.

Geanna Durham’s body was found in Oklahoma City in February, but investigators believe that she died back in May 2014.

Her mother 29-year-old mother, Reshawnda Durham, is facing accusations that she moved her daughter’s corpse to Scott Street Mini Storage in late April or early May 2015. Her body was then discarded at the landfill site.

It is thought Geanna's body was kept at her mother's Oklahoma City home for a year after her death, according to prosecutors

It is thought Geanna’s body was kept at her mother’s Oklahoma City home for a year after her death, according to prosecutors

The teenager’s cause of death is not currently clear, but detectives indicated they do not have enough evidence to progress with murder charges against the woman.

The storage center employees were reported instructed to deposit the young girl’s body in a dumpster before it could be located.

However, Reshawnda Durham has so far been charged with neglecting to report the remains as well as with the unauthorized removal of a dead body.

Her landlord and friend, Walter Ray Pelfrey, 76, is also facing criminal charges of removing the body and being an accomplice after the fact. Additionally, he also faces another count of desecration of a human body.

Megan Tilly, the Deputy Attorney General, said in a statement to News9: “It is our belief that Geanna Durham died at her home in May of 2014 and we believe that the body may have stayed at that residence for approximately a year before it was moved to a storage unit sometime in late April or May of 2015.”

Geanna's mother Reshawnda Durham, 29, is accused of failing to report the discovered remains, and unauthorized removal of a dead body

Geanna’s mother Reshawnda Durham, 29, is accused of failing to report the discovered remains and unauthorized removal of a dead body

The mother purportedly told law enforcement officials that her daughter had moved in with her father in Florida, but when he was contacted by police, he claimed he had not seen Geanna for over ten years.

An employee at the storage facility allegedly told authorities that the woman occupied a storage unit for approximately one year, and Pelfrey ordered it to be cleaned out and her name eliminated from records before it was searched.

It is further maintained that Pelfrey requested that the corpse to be placed in a dumpster after it was discovered by a staff member.

If Durham is found guilty, she faces seven years behind bars, while Pelfrey could see a sentence of up to nine-and-a-half years in prison.

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