May 6, 2014 10:52 PM
We're learning more about the Southern Kentucky man who is accused of hiding his dead mother in a freezer, and cashing her social security checks before killing himself.
Friends of Jon Whiteford said he was devoted to caring for his 96-year-old mother, Faye Whiteford. However, they said once she died, he got in over his head and never recovered.
"He just got himself into trouble, and once you do something like that, there is really no way out," said Al Fried. He was a good friend of Jon's and for him it's hard to hear the secret his friend took to the grave.
"Jon was basically a good person," said Fried. "This is probably one of the only things he did wrong in his life."
Fried said Jon Whiteford was a generous man. He cared deeply for his elderly mother, and was Faye's full time caregiver. He was also her financial dependent.
"We didn't know she had passed away, and we were afraid to ask," said Fried. It was for good reason.
Investigators with the Pulaski County Sheriff's office said Faye died of natural causes years ago, however Jon never reported it.
"Jon stored her in a freezer from 2011 until around Christmas of 2013 when he was forced to leave his home," said Lt. Brett Whitaker, with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department.
Around christmas investigators said the house on Maggie Lane went into foreclosure and Jon moved to Wayne County. Financially desperate, friends said he allowed Faye's social security and retirement checks to continue and cashed them.
"So he got himself into a jam. I guess he was afraid to report that his mom died because of what I said about the funds disappearing," said Fried.
Finally, questions about Faye's health and whereabouts, plus Jon's visit to the Social Security office to inquire about his own benefits, led to a fraud investigation.
In march, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department tracked Jon to a neighbor's home on Maggie Lane. They said when they arrived, Jon shot and killed himself.
"He couldn't face it and that's probably why he ended his life," said Fried.
A month later, Faye's remains were found in the front yard of the Wayne county home, tied up in a tarp. Despite what happened, Jon's friends said they'll remember him for the person he was and not for this.
"He wasn't a bad person, it's just that he did one bad thing and from that one bad thing led to other bad things," said Fried.
There are still a lot of questions in this case, therefore investigators ask anyone who recently spoke with Jon to come forward.
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