CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The son of an 88-year-old New Mexico man has adm itted to killing his father and dismembering the body on the floor of his bedroom with an electric tree trimming chain saw, authorities said.
Carlsbad police said Steven Michael Allumbaugh, 62, recently told investigators that he struck his father, Thomas Luther Allumbaugh, during an argument in January 2012 and he fell against a metal chair in a shower.
According to a criminal complaint, Allumbaugh then dismembered the body and buried it in his backyard to conceal the death. The complaint also says he hid the death for a year so that he could continue withdrawing his father’s Social Security retirement funds.
The younger Allumbaugh, was arrested Aug. 7 following an investigation by the Social Security Administration, the Office of the Inspector General said.
He is being held on federal charges involving Social Security theft allegations. He has not been charged in his father’s death and it’s unclear if he had an attorney.
Allumbaugh withdrew close to $20,000 from his father’s Wells Fargo Bank account between January 2012 and January 2013, according to authorities. Allumbaugh reportedly told Bianca Mendez, a special agent with the Office of the Inspector General, he intended to reimburse the money in full.
Thomas Luther Allumbaugh was found buried and stuffed in trash bags in different places in his backyard in December 2012 after his grandson in Virginia reported him missing.
Allumbaugh reportedly later admitted to detectives that he disposed of the body in barrels and buried portions of it several days later. The police discovered several shallow graves in the rear of the home beneath several large pieces of steel tubing.
“He didn’t ask for an attorney and he was very cooperative,” Carlsbad Police Sgt. Blaine Rennie told the Carlsbad Current-Argus. “I think that’s the final story we are going to get from him.”
Investigators say they haven’t been able to find the chain saw allegedly used by Allumbaugh.