Utah authorities making a welfare check on a 75-year-old woman found her dead of natural causes — and her husband’s body in a freezer!
Paul Mathers, 69, likely died about 11 years ago and left a letter saying his wife didn’t kill him, officials said.
“It was notarized on Dec. 2, 2008. We believe he had a terminal illness,” said Police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen of Tooele, about 35 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.
Mathers was last seen alive on Feb. 4, 2009, at a Veterans Affairs hospital. His wife, Jeanne Sourone-Mathers, was found dead Nov. 22.
Some suspect she kept her dead hubby so she could collect his Social Security and VA benefits, a total of around $177,000 over nearly 11 years.
Detectives haven’t ruled out homicide and are investigating whether the woman had help shoving her husband into the freezer.
Jeanne used a wheelchair, but she didn’t need one at the time her husband apparently died, police said.
The woman who notarized the letter told cops she stamped it without reading it, which notaries are not obliged to do.
Stunned neighbors in the Mathers’ retirement community described Jeanne as a “very nice person” who wouldn’t “hurt a fly.” But one resident said she’d claimed her husband walked out on her.
If Jeanne kept her husband’s body to collect his benefits, the idea was “kind of smart,” said neighbor James Kite, “but still creepy. I wouldn’t want to live in an apartment with my dead husband or wife.”