Utah authorities are still investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding a deceased woman, her husband who was found dead in a deep freezer and a notarized letter found on his body.
Police found 75-year-old Jeanne Souron-Mathers dead in her Tooele, Utah, apartment on Nov. 22, 2019, after a maintenance worker from her retirement community reported that he hadn’t heard from her in weeks, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
When authorities entered the elderly woman’s apartment, they discovered Souron-Mathers had died of natural causes before making another chilling discovery — there was a male body stuffed in a deep freezer.
After they ran forensic tests, they determined that the frozen body was Souron-Mathers’ husband, Paul Mathers.
Many of Souron-Mathers’ neighbors and friends told investigators they had never met her husband, which only complicated the case.
“Jeanne was, by all appearances, a very nice person. Very friendly. We’ve talked to her quite a bit and took her to doctor appointments,” neighbor Evan Kline told KTSU. “The story that — at least she was putting out — was her husband walked out on her.”
Police also found a notarized letter on Mathers’ body that stated his wife did not kill him.
“It was notarized on December 2, 2008,” Sgt. Jeremy Hansen of the Tooele Police Department said. “We believe he had a terminal illness.”
The woman who notarized the letter in 2008 told Tooele Police that she didn’t read the letter. She claims she “just stamped and signed it.”
Investigators now believe that Mathers died almost 10 years before his wife and that she placed his body in the freezer sometime between Feb. 4, 2009, and March 8, 2009.
They believe he was last seen on Feb. 4, 2009, at an appointment at the Veterans Affairs Hospital.
He was 58 years old when he died, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Authorities are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Mathers’ death and Souron-Mathers’ secretive storage of his body.
Homicide has not been ruled out, but police officers are also investigating whether or not Souron-Mathers kept her husband’s death a secret so she could continue to collect his government benefits.
They have determined she received at least $177,000 since her husband’s death, according to KTSU.
Several of her neighbors believe that was the case, but are still shocked that Souron-Mathers would keep this kind of secret.
“Based on what I know now, I’d have to say it was probably the plan, yeah, for her to keep the money because it was her only source of income,” Kline said. “I guess you could call it kind of smart — then again, crooks a lot of the time are smart.”
James Kite, another member of the retirement community, echoed Kline’s conclusion and added that it was “creepy.”
“It’s been crazy. I’ve never seen anything like what’s been going on here,” Kite said.
“Yeah, I guess [it is smart]. It’s still creepy. I wouldn’t want to live in an apartment with my dead husband or my dead wife.”
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