For a decade, Glenora Delahay’s Social Security checks kept coming.
In all, more than $186,000 from the federal government was sent to the Ardmore woman who, according to her granddaughter, died in March 2004 at age 97.
But Cynthia Carolyn Black never reported her grandmother’s death. Instead, police say, she stashed Delahay’s body in a freezer so she could continue to collect the dead woman’s government benefits.
Black, 61, most recently of York Haven in York County, was charged Wednesday with abuse of corpse, theft, and receiving stolen property for allegedly hiding the corpse and cashing her grandmother’s $1,765 monthly checks for years.
But even that brazen scheme wasn’t enough to solve Black’s financial woes, documents released Thursday show. According to the affidavit of probable cause for her arrest, Black moved from the Ardmore home she shared with her grandmother to Dillsburg, York County. There, the affidavit says, she used the stolen Social Security benefits to help pay a mortgage on a home, only to lose it to foreclosure in 2018.
That set the stage for the grisly discovery that would lead to the criminal charges.
In February 2019, the then-abandoned house in Dillsburg was owned by the mortgage company Fannie Mae, and two women went to look at the property, which was put up for sale. Exploring a small building next to the home on Kralltown Road, authorities say, the women also found a white freezer, looked inside, and saw human skeletal remains wrapped in a black trash bag.
It is not known exactly how or when Delahay died. Police did not provide a cause of her death, but did not say it was suspicious. A State Police spokesperson said Thursday that police believe she died in the early 2000s.
York County Coroner Pam Gay said Thursday that the cause and manner of Delahay’s death remain undetermined. “We’re waiting on the final autopsy report,” she said, adding that authorities may never know the answers because the freezer had been unplugged and the body was decomposed.
State police learned that Delahay had shared her Ardmore home with her granddaughter, as well as a man named Glenn Black Jr., 55. State Police spokesperson Kelly Osborne said she did not know if the two were married.
Delahay developed health problems, and her granddaughter became her caretaker.
Glenn Black also developed health issues, which limited him to the first floor of the home on Haverford Road near Ardmore Avenue. He told police he last saw Delahay, who was confined to the second floor of the home, between 2001 and 2002, according to the affidavit of probable cause. He later moved with Delahay’s granddaughter to Dillsburg.
Social Security Administration records show that Delahay received benefits from 2001 through November 2010, when her account was suspended, according to the affidavit. The money was deposited into a credit union account held by Delahay and her daughter, Glenora Waltzinger, who was Black’s mother. Waltzinger died on Jan. 25, 2011, the affidavit says.
Police learned that monthly withdrawals were made from the credit union account and deposited electronically from March 2001 to January 2011 into a PNC Bank account in Delahay’s, Waltzinger’s, and Black’s names.
After purchasing the Dillsburg home in 2007, Cynthia and Glenn Black took out a loan and in 2010 reported monthly income of $3,581, about half of which came from Delahay’s $1,765 monthly Social Security benefits. The other funds came from Waltzinger’s retirement benefit and from Glenn Black's Social Security benefits, the affidavit says.
Black, most recently living in York Haven, York County, was released on $50,000 unsecured bail after her arraignment Wednesday. Efforts to reach her by phone were unsuccessful. It was not known if she has an attorney.
Glenn Black was behind bars in the Frankin County Jail after pleading guilty to a charge of indecent assault of a substantially impaired person stemming from a February 2018 incident, court records show.
It’s unclear if other charges could loom. The Social Security Administration and the Justice Department have sought over the years to increase its crackdown on similar fraud and theft schemes, which they say have stolen millions of dollars in federal funds.