“[The detective] started looking around, and opens up a deep freezer and finds an unidentified adult male that is deceased,” Tooele City Police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen told the Salt Lake Tribune.
There, piled into the freezer, was the fully intact body of Souron-Mathers’ husband, military veteran Paul Edward Mathers, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Fingerprints taken from the freezer-bound corpse confirmed the identity of the veteran, who would have turned 69 years old in November, the report said.
Neighbors and friends of the veteran were interviewed and stated they had not seen him since early 2009. The medical examination led investigators to believe the corpse had been in the freezer for the last decade.
Subpoenas distributed to various financial institutions then revealed Souron-Mathers had been receiving her husband’s benefits checks from the Department of Veterans Affairs since the veteran’s death over 10 years ago.
“The preliminary report indicates that if our time frame is accurate, she would have received more than $157,000 in VA benefits” in the decade since his death, Hansen told the Tribune.
Additionally, investigators learned Mathers had been suffering from a terminal illness around the time of his death and left a note dated December 2, 2008 that stated "his wife was not responsible for his death."
The letter is being examined by handwriting experts to determine if it is indeed written by the deceased husband.