Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A woman was convicted Friday of murdering her father and hiding the 90-year-old World War II veteran’s body in the backyard of their Bellflower home.

Jurors deliberated about three days before finding Linda Sue Copeland, now 62, guilty of second-degree murder for the death of her father,  who was believed to have been killed between Feb. 1-8, 2008.

Ralph Stofleth’s remains, covered with sheets and a cardboard, were discovered near a backyard shed in May of that year after sheriff’s deputies went to the home the father and daughter had shared. Neighbors expressed concern that they had not seen the man for three months.

An autopsy determined the cause of death as asphyxia with other undetermined factors.

Evidence presented during Copeland’s trial showed that she continued to collect her father’s retirement benefits after he was killed, according to Deputy District Attorney Tina Hooks.

Copeland is facing a maximum 15-year state prison term, with sentencing set for Jan. 9 at the Norwalk courthouse.

City News Service

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