Van Zandt County sheriff: Man stored mother’s body for weeks after death

Douglas Kilburn
Douglas Kilburn(Van Zandt County Jail)
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 4:30 PM CST
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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A Wills Point man kept his mother’s body wrapped in a carpet in a living room for about 20 days after her death, according to the Van Zandt County sheriff.

Douglas Dean Kilburn, 49, is charged with abuse of corpse. A pending autopsy could lead to more charges against him.

According to Sheriff Joe Carter, Kilburn told the investigating deputy that he kept the woman’s body in the home so he could continue to “visit” her.

The investigation began on Feb. 14, when a friend of the woman contacted the sheriff’s office because they were concerned they had not heard from the woman. A deputy went to a home in the 600 block of County Road 3828 and spoke with Kilburn, who said his mother had left the area and did not want to be bothered.

“Something didn’t sit right with the deputy so he went back yesterday,” Carter said.

On Monday, the deputy returned to the home and questioned Kilburn again. Carter said Kilburn admitted that his mother was dead and in the living room of the home and wrapped in a carpet and duct tape. Kilburn said his mother died around the first of February and he kept her in the home so he could continue to visit with her.

Carter said an autopsy will be performed Wednesday morning and charges could be added to Kilburn if it is discovered the death was a homicide.