UK police: Airport wheelchair man dead 12 hours

April 9, 2010 5:25:41 AM PDT
British police say an elderly man whose relatives allegedly tried to smuggle his corpse on a flight to Germany died of natural causes up to 12 hours before they were supposed to depart. Willi Jarant's two relatives were arrested Saturday on suspicion of failing to notify authorities about a death when they were trying to fly him out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Authorities said Friday he died of natural causes.

Gitta Jarant and her daughter Anke Anusic deny the charges. They say they thought he was asleep. Police say the two are free on bail while the case in investigated.

Willi Jarant was in a wheelchair and wearing sunglasses when police made the arrest before the flight after discovering he had no pulse. He was 91.