The body of a man was found in the freezer of a deceased woman’s home and may have been kept there for over a decade, police say.
The remains of both individuals were found during a welfare check on a 75-year old woman who had not been seen in about two weeks by a building maintenance worker.
The body in the freezer was identified as her husband, 69-year old Paul Edwards Mathers. Sgt Jeremy Hansen said it was found completely intact in a chest freezer inside the apartment.
Detectives do not yet know how he died or if his wife was involved in his death, but suspect foul play, reported the Associated Press.
Based on when residents in the apartment complex last saw him, the man’s body could have been in the freezer any between one to 11 years, police said. The autopsy didn’t narrow down that time frame, Mr Hansen said.
Mr Hansen told local media there was “no visible trauma” on the woman’s body but both remains were sent to the medical examiner to determine how the man died.
Souron-Mathers lived in the apartment since 2007 in the city of Tooele, which is located about 25 miles west of Salt Lake City.
Fifty-seven-year-old Larry Dinwiddie hasn’t yet been charged but was jailed in Webster County on a 24-hour investigative hold that expires Wednesday afternoon.
Sheriff Roye Cole says managers at the storage facility on the outskirts of the small town of Marshfield found the body of Cynthia Dinwiddie on Monday in a freezer that was plugged in and padlocked shut after the man fell behind on rental fees. Random food items were around her remains, reports the Springfield News-Leader.
Cole said deputies working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol told the man the freezer had quit working and that he needed to pick it up. He was arrested around 2 p.m. Tuesday when he showed up at the facility.
“He was very cooperative. He knew the jig was up,” Cole said.
Cole says the man confessed to killing the woman at a different location.
“He claimed that she had been abusive to him in the past and that he lost it,” Cole said. “He said he couldn’t handle it.”
Cole said an autopsy has been scheduled Monday, but Dinwiddie allegedly told investigators it was blunt force trauma, strangulation and possibly blood loss.
“He said he did it with a hammer and then strangled her,” Cole said.
Online property records showed the couple had lived in Webster County since at least the early 2000s. Authorities said there was no indication the woman had been reported missing. Cole says the man told people that she had left.
Cole and Webster County prosecuting attorney Benjamin Berkstresser didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.