Brinnon man released from jail after allegedly hiding mother’s corpse

62-year-old could still be charged

BRINNON — A man who allegedly kept his mother’s corpse in his house for almost two years has been released from jail on his own recognizance, after autopsy results showed that his mother died of natural causes.

Gerald A. Armstrong, 62, could be charged after an investigation into financial records is complete, said Jefferson County Undersheriff Andy Pernsteiner.

The Brinnon man was released Monday afternoon. He was arrested Friday evening after Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies found that he had allegedly been keeping his mother’s corpse without alerting the county coroner, Pernsteiner said.

His mother, Dorothy Armstrong, reportedly died in September 2017 at the age of 85, according to Pernsteiner.

Her corpse was discovered when Deputy Gordon Tamura came to the house for a welfare check requested by Gerald Armstrong’s brother to check on their mother, Pernsteiner said.

Pernsteiner said that as of Tuesday probable charges would be misdemeanors: two counts of failure to notify the coroner (a misdemeanor) and concealment of a dead body (a gross misdemeanor).

No court date for Gerald Armstrong had been set by Tuesday.

An autopsy was completed Monday, and the cause of death was undetermined, but the manner of death was deemed to be natural, Pernsteiner said.

Reportedly, Gerald Armstrong initially wouldn’t allow Tamura access to the residence, claiming his mother was asleep.

Tamura was insistent and Gerald Armstrong eventually allowed him entry and “came clean,” showing Tamura to the living room, where Dorothy’s body was seated in a chair, Pernsteiner said.

The mother and son had reportedly lived together for years and had a joint bank account, Pernsteiner said.

An investigation into financial records is ongoing.

Pernsteiner said that Gerald Armstrong was the sole heir to his mother’s estate and he does not anticipate finding anything illegal.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at zjablonski@peninsuladailynews.com.

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