MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A man is facing charges months after an 83-year-old woman’s body was found in a garden behind a Crosstown home.
Greg Tanner has been charged with theft of property $60,000-$250,000, forgery $60,000-$250,000, financial exploitation of an elderly/vulnerable person, identity theft, and abuse of a corpse. He is being held on a $150,000 bond.
According to an arrest affidavit, Rebecca Seay was last seen with her caretaker, Tanner, on January 22 after she was released from the hospital.
WREG spoke with a neighbor on Montgomery Street and he said he would often see Seay tending the very same garden.
“I saw her out there watering her hand baskets,” Neal McElroy said. “During the winter time, I remember seeing a mattress out on the curb, and I just thought it was a weird time to be changing out or getting rid of a mattress because it was freezing.”
Seay was found days after an alert was issued on March 1 regarding to her disappearance. Police said at the time they were told she was at an unknown facility while they were completing a welfare check, but she wasn’t found during their search.
Police confirmed a week later that her remains were found in a garden on Montgomery Street, where she lived. According to the affidavit, Seay was found buried about two feet under the flower bed wrapped in sheets next to a box of her son’s ashes.
An autopsy report reveals she was hospitalized for six days after falling out of bed. According to the report, a physician told Tanner his mother-in-law’s condition was expected to decline due to her worsening dementia and hospice care was encouraged.
The medical examiner said there were no obvious signs of trauma and Seay’s cause of death could not be determined.
The box of ashes was signed for by Tanner from a funeral home on September 16.
Investigators say on March 2 they were notified of suspicious activity in Seay’s bank account. They found more than $24,600 in unauthorized charges were made between January 7 and March 7. The charges were made by Tanner for gambling sites that matched player records under his name.
Investigators also found $80,802 in checks that were forged with Seay’s signature and negotiated by Tanner into his bank accounts.
Tanner appeared in court on Tuesday.