Police are investigating after the remains of an elderly woman were discovered in a shallow grave on a property where the owner claims she buried her friend per request in her dying wish.
Vernelle Jackson, 83, was not worried in the slightest when state officials showed up at her home in Maine in late September to perform a welfare check on a woman who had allegedly been staying with her.
Maine State Police recovered the remains of a female, believed to be in her 80s, buried in Jackson’s backyard according to the news release. Officials say she likely died 12-18 months ago but will conduct an autopsy to determine the time as well as cause of death.
Jackson shared how she was honest with police and admitted to burying her friend of 20 years on her property, adding how she was unaware that she needed a permit to do so.
“She begged me when she passed away that she didn’t have enough insurance to bury her, and I don’t have it. And she said, ‘Will you promise me to bury me in your yard so I’ll be close,’” Jackson revealed.
“She considered me as a daughter she never had. She said, ‘You’re the daughter I never had. I want to be close to you,’ and I finally agreed to do it to satisfy her.”
The women first met a few years ago while attending church.
Jackson continued on, saying how her friend offered her a place to live when she first moved to Maine and how she wanted to repay her for that favor when her friend asked to live with her when she got sick around four years ago.
When she did pass away, Jackson (who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) did precisely what her friend asked.
“I put her in a tarp… I dragged her out there,” Jackson shared.
While she is not sure yet if she is facing any charges, she has admitted that if she would have known she needed a permit, she would have gotten one.