Marinette County woman convicted of hiding mom’s corpse

Paula Bergold, 61, appeared before a Marinette County judge for a plea hearing.
Paula Bergold. Photo: Marinette County Jail
Paula Bergold. Photo: Marinette County Jail(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 1:15 PM CDT
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MARINETTE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Marinette County woman has been found guilty of hiding her mother’s corpse in order to collect social security payments.

On Tuesday, Paula Bergold, 61, appeared before a Marinette County judge for a plea hearing. She pleaded “no contest” to a felony charge of Hiding a Corpse. Charges of Failing to Report a Death and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer were dismissed and read into the record.

The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set a sentencing hearing for Oct. 5 at 9:30 a.m.

On Sept. 18, 2019, Marinette County deputies were called to State Highway 64 in the Town of Peshtigo to perform a welfare check on Bergold’s 89-year-old mother, Ruby.

Paula Bergold told officers that Ruby’s body was in a tub in the basement, according to a criminal complaint.

Paula said that she didn’t kill her mother. She said she had found Ruby dead in a chair upstairs. Paula said she wanted to call police but she “couldn’t bring herself to do it.”

Ruby Bergold’s body was removed from the home and transported to Fond du Lac for an autopsy. Investigators identified the body through the serial number on Ruby’s pacemaker.

Paula told investigators that she had been living off of her mother’s income--social security, stocks, and dividends from her father’s retirement.

“Paula said that she was concerned about the money, and that played into her decision to not report her mother’s death,” reads the complaint.

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