Wife Accused of Dismembering Husband's Body, Claiming His Benefits for 4 Years

A woman dismembered her dead husband's body, threw his remains in the trash and continued to collect his benefits for years, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Nancy Kay Shedleski, 69, of Las Vegas, is facing a charge of theft of government money, according to the complaint obtained by Newsweek.

According to the complaint, Shedleski never reported her husband's death in 2015.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) continued to deposit his retirement benefits into the couple's account until about December 2019. The total amount of the payments between August 2015 until about December 2019 was estimated at about $121,040.

The SSA received an anonymous allegation in June 2019 that Shedleski's husband had disappeared in 2015 and that she was the one receiving his benefits, prompting a probe.

Investigators reviewed her husband's medical records and discovered he hadn't received medical care for over four years, which they considered unusual for a man in his 70s, the complaint showed.

The Las Vegas SSA office attempted to contact the man on the phone number listed on his records in July 2019, but received no response. They also attempted to contact Shedleski.

Shedleski eventually called the Las Vegas SSA office and reported that she and her husband were living together in an apartment in the city.

When SSA agents interviewed her at her apartment in December 2019, she initially told them that her husband was dong a "Walk-About" traveling through the country and that she hadn't seen him for about a couple of months.

Later in the interview, Shedleski said her husband had gone missing in August 2015. She then admitted that he had died that month in the basement of their family home in Pennsylvania. It wasn't clear how he had died.

Body Parts Thrown Out in the Trash

In a second interview in January 2020, Shedleski told investigators that she had dismembered her husband's body, packed up the body parts and thrown them out in the trash. She then called and told her family members that her husband had died, according to the complaint.

"Shedleski confirmed there was no ambulance, no hospitalization, no funeral, no burial and no cremation for [her husband]," it added.

In that interview, she confirmed that she had continued to receive her husband's monthly SSA benefits.

"She admitted that she used the funds to pay for her own personal living expenses, and that she submitted change of address forms for both herself and [her husband] when she moved from Pennsylvania to Nevada in September 2017," the complaint added.

The complaint says bank records show that the SSA deposited about $24,000 of benefits into Shedleski's account from January to December 2019.

If she had reported her husband's death to the SSA, Shedleski would have been entitled to receive a monthly survivor's benefit that would have amounted to about $14,000 in 2019.

"Accordingly, her theft of approximately $24,000 of retirement benefits issued to [her husband] caused a loss to the SSA of approximately $10,000 during 2019," the complaint noted.

Shedleski was released on bond on Monday, according to court records. Her attorney and the Department of Justice have been contacted for comment.

Social Security Administration office building
Pedestrians walk past the Social Security Administration office in downtown Los Angeles on October 1, 2013, in California. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images