Two sisters and a brother have been arrested after they were found living with their mother's skeleton for three years.
The Japanese sisters in their 50's and their 65-year-old brother believe they are doing nothing wrong and that their mother has turned into God.
The skeleton was kept in the siblings' home in south-west US for three years since their mother's death, a report in Mail Online says.
The three of them are now accused of conspiring to abandon a body.
According to Jiji Press, when the police tried to enter the house to investigate any abuse on the elderly woman, the siblings denied them entry to the house.
"There's no need to let you see her. Get off our property," one of the sisters told police according to the report.
When the police finally entered the house, they saw a skeleton lying on the couch, facing up. This was for religious reasons, say the siblings. They deny charges of corpse abandonment, because they believe their mother is still alive.
"Our mother has become a God," they told the officers. "She is not dead but is in the process of ascending to higher dimensions."
"We are servants of God - the way we see it, our mother is not dead," the siblings added.
According to neighbours, the family of the siblings wwas once respected in the neighborhood but of late, they had developed bizarre religious beliefs and had also cut themselves off from the everyday life.Traditional Japanese religion sometimes does involve the practice of ancestor worship.
They did not even let relatives visit them and would simply chase them away.
It is speculated that the family may have been illegally claiming their mother's pension.
According to a police spokesman, investigations are being conducted to identify and determine the cause of death of the body.
'We discovered today from an autopsy that the skeletonised body is that of a female who died two or three years ago, but we have to wait for the results if a DNA test to confirm her identity,' the spokesman said.
Had she been alive, she would be 88 years old, according to the report.