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Authorities pursuing murder charge against Carlsbad man who police say buried dad in yard


CARLSBAD, New Mexico — A Carlsbad man who authorities say admitted to killing his father, dismembering his body with a chain saw and then burying him in the backyard will return to the city to face a murder charge, police said.

Carlsbad police said they have requested that Steven Allumbaugh be transported back now that he has been sentenced in Las Cruces on a separate charge related to his father's death, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported ( ). Police believe they have built a strong enough case for a second-degree murder charge, authorities said.

A federal judge sentenced Allumbaugh on Nov. 20 to time served and three years' probation for theft of government property. Allumbaugh is accused of drawing nearly $20,000 in his 88-year-old father's Social Security benefits for almost a year. Police believe that Allumbaugh concealed his father's death for a year to keep collecting benefits.

Carlsbad authorities said they will also charge Allumbaugh with evidence tampering and abuse of a resident.

The remains of Thomas Luther Allumbaugh remains were found in 11 trash bags in different parts of the backyard in December 2012 after his grandson in Virginia reported him missing.

According to a criminal complaint, Allumbaugh said the elder Allumbaugh died after the two got into a physical altercation. He said he hit his father and caused him to fall against a metal chair in a shower. Allumbaugh told police he chopped up the body on a bedroom floor in January 2012, the complaint said.

An investigation by the Social Security Administration led to Allumbaugh's arrest on Aug. 7, 2013. He was initially held on federal charges involving Social Security theft, the Office of the Inspector General said at the time.

Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus,

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