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Crime News Breaking News

Family Cashes Grandma's Checks For Years After Her Alleged Murder, Cops Say

Mother and daughter Tara Aven and Briar Aven are suspects in the killing of 77-year-old Sandra Aven, who is believed to be have been dead since 2017.

By Gina Tron

A woman and her daughter are accused of cashing checks sent to her dead mother for nearly two years after having something to do with the elderly woman's death.

Police arrested Tara Aven, 46, and Briar Aven, 24, after the discovery Tuesday of a body believed to be Sandra Aven in the 77-year-old's central Arizona home. Authorities suspect she has been dead since 2017. Tara, her daughter, and Briar, her granddaughter, lived right next door to her.

Police reported receiving a call from a concerned neighbor who said he hadn't seen Sandra Aven for a long time and was worried about her welfare.

Investigators began talking to her family, who allegedly lied about her whereabouts. Briar Aven initially told officers that her grandmother was out of town and unavailable, police said.

However, after the women gave inconsistent information, officers entered Sandra Aven's home to check on her. They found the body, but authorities have yet to positively identify the remains or determine cause of death.

Tara Aven and Briar Aven

The mother and daughter are suspected of cashing numerous checks sent to Sandra Aven for several years, according to police.

Both women have been booked on suspicion of fraud schemes and evidence tampering. Tara Aven is also accused of facilitation of first-degree murder. Police say the case is being investigated as a homicide and the women are considered suspects.

The mother and daughter have already allegedly confessed having something to do with Sandra Aven's death, according to KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

It was unclear Tuesday night if either woman had a lawyer yet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.