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Deception and Dollars: Couples 6-Year Retirement Fraud Scam, Hides Body

Hides man’s body for six years to fraudulently collect his Social Security.

By Matthew JackPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
Deception and Dollars: Couples 6-Year Retirement Fraud Scam, Hides Body
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Uncovering the Kansas Couple’s Deceptive Scheme

Overland Park, KS: The crazy, shocking case involving Lynn and Kirk Ritter revolves around the incomprehensible act of concealing the body of Mike Carroll, their relative, in their home for a staggering six years after his death. This disturbing and sick scheme was orchestrated to fraudulently collect retirement benefits, amounting to over $215,000, long after Carroll’s passing in 2016. The extent of this deceptive plot only came to light in 2022 when Kirk Ritter reported Carroll’s death, ultimately unraveling the harrowing truth.

The duration of the concealment, spanning six years, raises significant questions about the couple’s motivations and the potential red flags that might have been overlooked during this prolonged period. The case has sparked widespread astonishment and prompted reflection on the measures to detect such elaborate fraud, particularly in the context of government benefits oversight.

The Deceased and the Relationship to the Accused

The victim in this distressing case, Mike Carroll, was tragically hidden in the couple’s home, preserved in a “mummified state” on a bed, painting a chilling picture of the extent of the deception and fraud. Carroll’s pacemaker data revealed that his death occurred in 2016, shedding light on the timeline of the appalling cover-up that lasted until 2022. Carroll’s family members were led to believe a fabricated narrative about Carroll’s well-being for all that time.

The prolonged concealment of Carroll’s death underscores the critical need for enhanced vigilance and support systems to ensure the well-being of vulnerable family members and prevent the exploitation of such tragic circumstances.

Hiding the Body

The Ritters’ ability to keep Carroll’s body hidden for six years without arousing suspicion is a distressing testament to the extent of their deception. Throughout this period, they managed to perpetuate the illusion that Carroll was alive, effectively denying his family members the opportunity to grieve and bid a proper farewell to their loved ones. The discovery of Carroll’s body in 2022, following Kirk’s report of his death, serves as a chilling reminder of the intricate web of deceit that was meticulously maintained for an extended duration by this couple in furtherance of the crime.

The baffling ability of the Ritters to perpetuate the façade of Carroll’s continued existence prompts a critical examination of the warning signs that may have been overlooked or dismissed by those in their social circle. This case serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of open communication and regular contact with family members, especially when individuals may be elderly, isolated, vulnerable, and or kept away under dubious circumstances.

Deception and Fraud

The Ritters’ deliberate orchestration of deception to mislead their relatives about Carroll’s well-being while clandestinely profiting from his demise showcases the criminal depths of their fraudulent scheme. This shocking crime has led to severe charges of wire fraud and theft of government funds, as the couple callously exploited over $215,000 in retirement benefits meant for their victim.

The deliberate and sustained nature of the Ritters’ deception raises profound questions about the ethical boundaries of familial relationships and the lengths to which individuals may go for personal gain. Moreover, it underscores the critical need for stringent oversight and accountability in distributing government funds to prevent such egregious exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

The Financial Aspect

Despite his passing, the Ritters’ audacious continuation of depositing and spending from Carroll’s bank account is a distressing illustration of their callous disregard for ethical and legal boundaries. The significant sum of over $215,000 received in pension and Social Security payments following Carroll’s death paints a stark picture of the prolonged period during which the Ritters callously siphoned funds meant for Carroll.

This distressing case serves as a wake-up call for the government and institutions entrusted with managing benefits or retirement funds, highlighting the imperative of stringent measures to safeguard against fraudulent activities that compromise the system’s integrity.

Arrest and Pending Prosecution

The impending federal court appearance of the Ritters to face a litany of charges, including wire fraud and theft of government funds, underscores the severity of their actions and the legal ramifications that await them. The broader investigation into the fraudulent cashing of checks suggests a wider scope of criminal activity, hinting at the potential for further charges.

Investigation and Evidence

The substantial evidence obtained from bank records, revealing the Ritters’ fraudulent activities in writing checks from Carroll’s account, revealed their deliberate exploitation of Carroll’s death for financial gain. Additionally, the pivotal role played by Carroll’s pacemaker data in unveiling the truth about the timing of his death and the duration of the deception underscores the significance of technological advancements in exposing such elaborate deceptions.

The evidence amassed in this case is a powerful testament to the indispensable role of forensic and technological advancements in uncovering complex criminal schemes.

Implications for Retirement Funds and Beneficiaries

The profound implications of this distressing case extend beyond the immediate legal repercussions, raising significant concerns about the broader impact on retirement funds and the well-being of beneficiaries. The Ritters’ deliberate exploitation of government benefits should prompt urgent discussions about reinforcing the verification processes to prevent similar instances of fraudulent collection.

The far-reaching implications of this case should spark critical conversations about the security and oversight of retirement funds, underscoring the necessity for robust measures to safeguard against exploitation and abuse. It serves as a sobering reminder of the imperative to prioritize the well-being and protection of vulnerable individuals, particularly in the context of government assistance programs.


The Kansas couple’s deplorable scheme to conceal a relative’s body for six years to fraudulently collect retirement benefits should prompt deep introspection about the safeguards in place to prevent such criminal exploitation. This case serves as a haunting reminder of the imperative to fortify oversight measures and support systems to protect vulnerable individuals and avoid the callous exploitation of tragic circumstances.


About the Creator

Matthew Jack

My 30-year law enforcement career fuels my interest in true crime writing. My writing extends my investigative mindset, offers comprehensive case overviews, and invites you, my readers, to engage in pursuing truth and resolution.

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