PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – An Oregon man didn’t reveal where his mother’s body is despite an offer from a federal judge before he was sentenced.
Judge Michael McShane sentenced Theodore Kirk to 15 months in prison on September 13 for taking more than $75,000 in Social Security benefits meant for his mother, Nadine.
A week earlier McShane delayed the sentencing to give Kirk an opportunity to lead authorities to her body, but that didn’t happen, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On the day his sentencing was originally scheduled, September 6, Kirk filed a civil lawsuit against the authorities who investigated and prosecuted him as well as his own defense attorney.
“I have been subjected to badjering (sic), unwarrented (sic) charges, arrest, siezed (sic) property, damages, mental stress, trial and conviction of crime I did not commit,” Kirk hand wrote in the suit he filed himself in federal court in Medford, without a lawyer. “My mother is missing.”
Detectives with the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and federal prosecutors believe Kirk hid his mother’s body after she died in 2010.
“He kept her death a secret from family and friends, then lied about it to authorities on at least three separate occasions,” wrote prosecutors with the US Attorney’s Office for Oregon in pre-sentencing court documents. “After an investigation into Ms. Kirk’s death that lasted over three years, Kirk took the stand at his own trial and lied about his knowledge of her death to the jury, the Court, and to the public he defrauded.”
Nadine Kirk, who was born August 16, 1916, would be 103 years old if she were still alive.
Theodore Kirk turned 65 on Monday.
Investigators say the mother and son lived together on a remote piece of property east of Klamath Falls near the town of Bonanza.
According to court documents investigators used three dogs trained in locating bodies to search the property in 2017. During the search, two dogs alerted authorities in a specific area, but they didn’t find a body.
A year later, Jackson County authorities searched again after a neighbor remembered “seeing a pile of what she believed to be ‘lime’ on the east side of defendant’s property, near her property line. The area she described generally matched the area that the cadaver dogs had alerted to during the previous search. (The neighbor) recalled that she saw a wheelchair sitting next to the same pile of lime.”
Investigators dug up the area but did not find Nadine’s body.
“What you have to understand it’s within a mile of national forest land. It’s not the end the of the world, but you can see it from there. There’s ample places in proximity for a clandestine whatever,” Det. Nick Kennedy with the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 in June 2018.
Detectives say Theodore claimed he last saw his mother in 2015 leaving with a friend to go to California, but detectives came up empty handed try to find her or a friend.
“Although law enforcement never found Ms. Kirk’s body, this timeframe allowed Kirk over two years to decide what to do with his mother’s body,” wrote prosecutors. “Whether Kirk later moved the body or otherwise disposed of it, Kirk tried to conceal the body in a dedicated effort to mask his wrongdoing. However, even if Kirk did not hide his mother’s body, evidence at trial established that he continued cashing her checks long after her death, knowing that he was not entitled to pocket that money.”
After serving his prison sentence Kirk will be under supervised released for 3 years and must pay $30,868 in restitution.