SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A man was arrested on Wednesday after confessing to burying his mom's body in his backyard to continue receiving her benefits, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

The arrest of 66-year-old Daniel Shannon comes after a nearly two-month investigation of the disappearance of his 97-year-old mother, Leonie Shannon.

[WATCH: Man accused of burying his mom in their San Tan Valley backyard]

On April 5, deputies went to a home near the area of Jasper Butte and Saratoga Meadows drives, after someone reached out to them with concerns about the whereabouts of Leonie, who had not been seen by anyone since December of 2018.

Daniel was the caregiver for his mother. At the time, he claimed she walked away from the home on Dec. 21, 2018. In addition to saying this isn't his mom's first disappearance, Daniel said they just started getting her Veterans Affairs benefits, and he didn't want to report her missing if she returned.

Daniel's story kept changing during the course of the investigation, PCSO spokeswoman Navideh Forghani said.

When talking to detectives on Wednesday, Daniel revealed that his mom died on Dec. 21. Rather than reporting his mom's death, Daniel buried her in the backyard to continue receiving her Social Security and VA benefits that would help pay for his invention patent.

A search warrant was served at the home on Wednesday. A body was found in the backyard the same day.

The medical examiner will officially identify the remains, believed to be that of Shannon, and determine the official cause of death.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb praised his investigators for cracking this case.

"Our detectives did a great job on this case, and in bringing Mr. Daniels to justice," said Lamb. "These types of cases are especially troublesome when the crimes involve family members."

Right now, Daniel faces charges for fraud and concealment of a body.

As the investigation continues, he could face more charges.

Neighbors said they were shocked to learn the news. 

"I feel like, obviously, if somebody's dead, you know, you want to take them to a graveyard or something," said Ben Martin who lives a few doors down. 

 


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