Neighbors shocked as San Tan Valley man is accused of burying his dead mother in his backyard

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- People living near a San Tan Valley man who is accused of burying his mother in his backyard and steal her government checks are speaking out.

The man, identified as 66-year-old Daniel Shannon, is facing multiple charges.

"It's a pretty quiet neighborhood so you just wouldn't expect that," said one neighbor, identified only as "Mike". "You have no right doing that, and no one deserves that."

According to officials with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Shannon decided to bury his mother, 97-year-old Leonie Shannon, in the backyard, instead of reporting her death, so that he could continue to receive her Social Security and VA benefits. Daniel said he needed the benefit to help pay for the patent on his invention. Leonie hadn't been seen by anyone since December of 2018, and people became worried. Initially, Daniel claimed his mother walked away as she had done before, but during a search of his home, deputies said Daniel admitted that his mother had died on December 21, 2018.

"My hope is we never have to see this happen in our neighborhood again," said Mike.