Arma Ann Roush, 75, was last seen in Goldsboro, North Carolina, some time in August 2015.
In May this year, her daughter Marcella Jean Lee, 56, sold a chest freezer to a neighbour for around £20 in a yard sale.
The buyer was told there were some "items" inside for a Sunday school project and a church official would come pick them up. When no one came after three weeks, the neighbour opened the freezer and found Mrs Roush's body.
Police began an investigation and say a post mortem exam found her death was natural and there were no signs of foul play.
The body was fully in tact.
Four months later, Lee was been arrested and charged with concealing or failing to report a death. She is due to appear in court on Monday.