Missing 83-year-old woman found buried in garden, suspect arrested

Gregory Tanner charged with abuse of a corpse, identity theft
Gregory Tanner charged with abuse of a corpse, identity theft(Action News 5/SCSO)
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 10:32 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An 83-year-old woman who was reported missing back in February was found buried in her own garden just a month later and now her son-in-law is charged in connection with the case.

According to an affidavit, Rebecca Seay was reported missing on Feb. 18 after caseworkers were unable to get in touch with her following her release from the hospital. Seay was diagnosed with dementia and was last seen leaving the hospital on Jan. 22 with 59-year-old Gregory Tanner.

Investigators say her body was found on March 3 in the flower bed of a rental property on North Montgomery Street near Midtown.

Seay’s body was found wrapped in sheets next to a black box of ashes labeled “High Point Funder Home, David Seay,” according to the affidavit. David is Seay’s deceased son.

Action News 5 reached out to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after the City Watch alert for her was canceled. There was no mention of where her body was found but TBI said her cause of death had not been determined at that time.

On March 2, investigators were reportedly notified of suspicious activity regarding Seay’s bank accounts that were not related to her care. Between Jan. 7 and March 7, Tanner allegedly made $24,600 in unauthorized purchases on gambling sites that matched player records under his name.

It was also found that $80,800 in checks were forged and negotiated by Tanner into his personal bank accounts, according to the affidavit.

The total loss was $105,409.

Tanner is charged with theft of property, forgery, financial exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable person, identity theft and abuse of a corpse.

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