A North Carolina man, thought to be in a nursing home following a stroke over a decade ago, was found by police investigators buried in the backyard of the home where he had lived with his wife, in a well kept flower garden.
Ruth Huber Bostic, 78, died last year of natural causes. She was discovered a month later by a police officer, after her mailman reported something was amiss. The woman's mail carrier became concerned when she had not come outside to greet him for over a month for their daily chats. Her mailbox was reportedly overflowing with the accumulated mail.
Police were told by neighbors that Bostic's husband, David Ellis Bostic, had not been seen for years. Mrs. Bostic had told family, friends and neighbors in the mid 1990s that he had suffered a stroke and was going to be moved from North Carolina to New Jersey, where Ruth said she had a sister who worked at a nursing home, reported the News and Observer.
News reports claimed Ruth was no longer in contact with her family members or the family of David Bostic and "appeared to suffer from mental illness," reported the New York Daily News. "Her family hadn't talked with her in years and years," said Raleigh police Detective J.D. Faulk. "Over time, her mental problems got worse and worse." The NY Daily news said, neighbors claimed she was quite imaginative in her story telling, "claiming to have worked in a German concentration camp and having a personal friendship with a Russian czar."
Unable to locate David Bostic, who would have been 99-years-old this year, police detectives assumed he must be dead or in a nursing home and didn't think anymore of the situation until almost a year later. That's when Raleigh police were contacted by the Social Security Administration, who were still issuing checks to David Bostic following Ruth's death.
Ruth had been receiving the direct deposited checks for almost 15 years, before her death. They were being deposited into a joint account, that she shared with her husband for many years. With no activity on the bank account, Social Security began an investigation that ended when police, who were now investigating the whereabouts of the missing man, went back to the home they had shared to search for more clues that would lead to finding him or would explain his absence.
After a tip from a neighbour, the police investigators directed their attention to a concrete pad she had poured in her front yard. With a search warrant in hand, the city of Raleigh's public utilities department excavated the area but found nothing
The detectives, who were baffled by the mysterious disappearance, then turned their eyes towards a flower bed in the backyard. Reports say, Ruth Bostic had "loving attended the garden for years." With "pickaxes and shovels" in hand, the officers began to dig up the area. After breaking through the concrete that was partially poured under the flower bed, police got their first clue on where David Bostic had been hiding all those years, when they found the first bone.
"We didn't know if it was human or animal," said Sgt. Matt Kohr. The bone was then sent to the state medical examiners office. The medical examiner took little time to inform the police what they had on their hands. "It was a human femur," Kohr said.
Police went back to the Bostic home the next day where they found the complete skeletal remains of a man. The body was identified as that of David Bostic, based on a "titanium plate found in his hip," said the NewsObserver.
A cause of death has not been determined for Mr. Bostic. The police investigation continues.
Sgt Kohr said "the police will probably never know what happened or why David Ellis Bostic could have been dead for so long without anyone noticing. The couple had no children."
Police estimate Ruth Bostic collected $93,000 in social security in David Bostic's name.