Tennessee son explains why he left dead mother inside home

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – After a 95-year-old woman was found dead for weeks inside their home, her son spoke to News 2 to share his side of the story.

Mary Cathey (Courtesy: Maury County Public Schools)
Mary Cathey (Courtesy: Maury County Public Schools)

William Cathey’s mother, Mary Cathey, is believed to have died several weeks ago. Detectives found her body after family members asked police to go check on her.

The elderly woman was in poor health and neighbors say she rarely left the home.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, which is why News 2’s Andy Cordan spoke to the woman’s son in jail on Wednesday.

He was emotional. He was sad. He didn’t think he should be in jail.

“I love my friends and family and I certainly don’t believe I deserve to be here,” Cathey said. “Nobody could help. I would have called right away. I didn’t know who to call.”

He said he loved his mom, but didn’t report her death because, in large part, because he was so broke and he was cashing her social security and pension checks.

“We had no cash, no way to support ourselves. I was in a quandary, and I was overcome with grief,” Cathey explained.

“I would walk around the block and cry and sob and try and figure out what to do if we reported it. We would have no income,” he added.williamcathey

News 2 asked if he interacted with his mother after she died. Cathey said he didn’t.

“It was really difficult. I cried all the time.”

The 60-year-old son said he doesn’t know exactly when she died, but that she died naturally in her sleep.

“I tried to revive her with mouth-to-mouth and it was to no avail,” Cathey said. “And that’s the situation. When she passed, I realized we had no income.”

He said he didn’t even tell his wife.

“Two to three years ago, [she] moved out of the house. She had cats and left her cats, brought over groceries. I was caring for mother,” Cathey explained.

An autopsy has been scheduled to determine Mary Cathey’s cause of death.

In the meantime, her son remains in jail on $45,000 bond, charged with criminally negligent homicide and abuse of a corpse.

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