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RACINE – Before reporting his mother’s death to police, a Racine man allegedly lived with her dead body for weeks.

Joseph Sorenson, 31, was charged Tuesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one misdemeanor count of failure to report a death with an enhancer of unusual circumstances. If convicted, he faces up to 90 days in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

Mother’s death finally reported

According to the criminal complaint, officers and the Racine County Medical Examiner’s Office were dispatched Saturday to a home on Main Street for a death investigation after Sorenson said his mother had been deceased for approximately two weeks. The deputy medical examiner determined the person had been dead for closer to three weeks, but identification was impossible because of the state of decomposition of the body.

Sorenson told police he found his mother not breathing about two weeks prior to his call to dispatch. He said he didn’t believe she had died, so he went to bed, the complaint continues. When he woke up the next morning to give her breakfast, Sorenson realized she passed away, but he didn’t call anyone because he “didn’t want her to go.”

He continued to live in the apartment with his mother’s body, the complaint continues. Sorenson also told police he lived in the apartment for about three years and was paid to take care of his mother, who also lived there. A neighbor confirmed that police were called a few days before for a welfare check after Sorenson wasn’t answering the door.

Sorenson was assigned a $500 signature bond and will be in court August 15 for a status conference.


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