Around 5 p.m. on May 5, deputies responded to a home in Punta Gorda for a wellness check, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said.
Once at the residence, officers knocked multiple times with no response. They investigated the perimeter of the home and noticed a foul odor coming from the residence, officials said.
Justin Carver, 36, eventually stepped outside, immediately locking the door behind him, officers said. He was portraying evasive behavior, so officers began to question him about the well-being of the victim.
Carver told police he “had spoken to the person at the home earlier in the week,” but he “had not seen her since that last conversation.” He also told police that he was “permitted to be at the residence.”
According to police, Carver told them how he accessed the home through the west side door, which is not secure due to a previous incident. Police asked Carver if he was supposed to be at the house and he said “No,” officials said. He then showed police how he entered the home and once inside, deputies found the deceased woman.
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The victim, identified as 55-year-old Layni Carver, was in a stage of decomposition on the floor of one of the bedrooms, officials said. The death was determined to not be a homicide, according to authorities.
Carver eventually told police there was a no-contact order taken out against him by his mother, authorities said. He said he did notice the smell and went to investigate it, which is when he found his mother dead two days prior.
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He was asked why he didn’t do anything about his dead mother’s decaying body and he stated, “I don’t know,” according to authorities.
Carver was arrested and charged with failing to report a death to a medical examiner and resisting an officer without violence, police said. He was booked into the Charlotte County Jail.
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