100-Year-Old Woman Found in Freezer
Posted by shadmia on October 20, 2008
The body of Herta Auslander was found inside a freezer chest at her home in Cooks Falls, by New York State Police. Herta was at least 100 years old, police said. They believe her 69-year-old son, Roland “Jack” Auslander, stashed her body in the freezer more than a year ago and continued to cash her social security checks. Herta lived in a run-down farm house on Auslander Road. Jack lived around the corner in a small cabin.
At first police were not sure if foul play was involved in Herta’s death. An autopsy could not be performed until the woman’s body had thawed out sufficiently.
After the autopsy was performed it showed that Herta died in April 2007 of natural causes – cardiac disease. Her body had been in the freezer for more than a year.
Herta’s bank became suspicious because of unusual recent activity on her account and the fact that no one had actually seen her in a long time. They called the police asking them to investigate. The police got a search warrant.
A fire was smoldering inside a barrel and several dogs were barking at Herta’s house. A sign tied to her fence indicated that Herta rescued abandoned dogs, and that she’d be open for adoption visitors at 1 p.m. When police arrived about 30 dogs were at the house, some of them vicious, which made it difficult to retrieve the frozen woman.
Police are now looking for Jack Auslander and have spoken to his attorney. Barring a homicide charge – which is unlikely, after getting the results back from the autopsy – the fraud associated with cashing her Social Security checks will likely outweigh charges for stowing her body, which would amount to a violation of the public health law, police said. It’s believed that Jack was controlling his mom’s bank account, keeping her Social Security payments and endorsing some checks with a rubber stamp of her signature.
It’s not a manhunt, “but we’d certainly like to talk to him,” Senior Investigator Les Hyman said.
This is not the first time Jack Auslander has been in trouble. He has been locked up several times in Sullivan County Jail and in the Woodbourne Correctional Facility on drug charges. Court records show he was convicted of buying more than 3 ounces of cocaine in Livingston Manor in 1987. He was imprisoned on drug charges again in 1999 and was released in 2003.