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Maine woman, 83, buried her friend in her backyard 18 months ago to fulfill the woman’s dying wish 

An elderly Maine woman said she buried her best friend in her backyard a year-and-a-half ago as part of her dying wish, insisting she was ‘begged’ to fulfill the request.

Vernelle Jackson, 83, said she has no regrets over the makeshift burial, calling the act an expression of love and respect to her longtime friend, as the woman’s body was exhumed from the garden of 239 Harrison Road on Tuesday.

Jackson and the woman, 81, who has not yet been identified by police, had been living together in Jackson’s mobile home property until she fell seriously ill and was bedridden, before allegedly dying from natural causes.

She had been under the care of a doctor as a well as hospice care in the months before her death last January. Discovery of her whereabouts was made by Maine State Police on September 17, who were carrying out a welfare check on the woman.

Jackson told investigators that before her friend died she made her promise to bury her in her backyard, so she could always be near her.

Vernelle Jackson, 83, said she has no regrets over the makeshift burial, calling the act an expression of love and respect to her longtime friend

The woman’s body was exhumed from the garden of 239 Harrison Road (above) on Tuesday

The woman’s body was exhumed from the garden of 239 Harrison Road (above) on Tuesday

‘She begged me when she passed away that she didn’t have enough insurance to bury her, and I don’t have it,’ Jackson told WCVB. ‘And she said, “Will you promise me to bury me in your yard so I’ll be close?” She considered me as a daughter she never had.

Jackson, who herself struggles from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), said the digging of the grave and the moving of her friends body took her two days to complete.

‘I put her in a tarp. I didn’t carry her. I dragged her out there,’ Jackson said, before reiterating: ‘She begged me, and I have witnesses to this. She asked me not to let her down.’

Jackson said she didn’t know she needed a permit to bury her friend. She’s now unsure if she’s in any trouble with police.

‘I stand behind what I did. If I had known I needed a permit, I would have got a permit,’ Jackson said ‘If I go to jail for it, I just have to go.’

Jackson, who herself struggles from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), said the digging of the grave and the moving of her friends body took her two days to complete

Jackson, who herself struggles from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), said the digging of the grave and the moving of her friends body took her two days to complete

‘I put her in a tarp. I didn't carry her. I dragged her out there,’ Jackson said, before reiterating: ‘She begged me, and I have witnesses to this. She asked me not to let her down.’

‘I put her in a tarp. I didn’t carry her. I dragged her out there,’ Jackson said, before reiterating: ‘She begged me, and I have witnesses to this. She asked me not to let her down.’

A former nursing assistant, Jackson says she has been fully cooperative with police in their investigation.

Detectives located the woman’s remains in a shallow grave behind Jackson’s mobile home, near a well.

Investigators began an autopsy of her remains on Wednesday, where the Maine Medical Examiner’s Office will try to give investigators a positive identification on the remains, along with a cause of death.

‘We are looking for answers from the Medical Examiner’s Office,’ Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said when asked Wednesday about possibility that criminal charges could be brought against Jackson. ‘We’re anticipating that could take a while.’

Detectives located the woman’s remains in a shallow grave behind Jackson’s mobile home, near a well

Detectives located the woman’s remains in a shallow grave behind Jackson’s mobile home, near a well

Jackson’s friendship with the woman spans more than two decades. The pair met with Jackson moved to Maine in the 1990s looking for a place to live.

The woman invited Jackson to stay at her home in Otisfield. Jackson said she repayed the debt when her friend had no other place to live four years ago, so she invited her to stay.

Jackson said her friend struggled with alcoholism for much of her life and wasn’t close with her family.

‘I told her that if she wanted to live with me, she couldn’t drink. I told her I’m a church-going person and I don’t drink,’ Jackson told the Press Herald. ‘She never had another drink after she moved in.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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