Squatters Who Found Dead Woman in Home Buried Body in Backyard and Sold Off Her Belongings, Police Say

After dying in 2018, the corpse of Lucille Payne was allegedly dismembered and buried in the backyard by a group of squatters who then sold off her stuff.

Aerial view of Las Vegas suburban neighborhood

Image via Getty

Aerial view of Las Vegas suburban neighborhood

After dying in the summer of 2018, the corpse of Lucille Payne was allegedly dismembered and buried in her Las Vegas backyard by a group of squatters who took over her house sold off her belongings.

As reported by local outlet 8 News Now, the squatters dismembered her body when they discovered it earlier this year. Payne had no close friends or relatives, and her bills were set to autopay, so police said when she died in the summer of 2018 her body was left alone and no red flags were raised. “After finding her, the decision was made between several people that they were going to dismember her body and bury her and then basically drain her finances and sell off her belongings, fraudulently,” said Metro Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer.

Police initially reported that Payne had been murdered and that her death was due to blunt force trauma and sharp force injuries, but her manner of death has since been changed to undetermined, 8 News Now reported. Two squatters were mainly involved in the crime, but several others were apparently seen entering and leaving the property. “She was not buried very deeply,” said Spencer. “An officer started to move the dirt and found her arm inside a very shallow grave in the backyard.” 

Over the course of a few weeks before police were notified, the squatters managed to sell off Payne’s car. The squatters also face charges of improper burial, as well as charges related to selling off items that didn’t belong to them.

“There’s been so much work to do to make sure we uncovered every potential possibility that had occurred,” Spencer said. Payne’s estate is now in charge of the home, and cops are working to track down a next of kin. “There’s a lot of people without family,” Spencer said. “Check on your neighbors. Because it is sad that she’d been there for so long and nobody had checked on her. People might not have family, but as a community, we need to check on our neighbors.”

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