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Missouri woman charged after husband’s body found in freezer

Posted at 12:33 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 12:33:50-05

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a woman after finding her husband’s corpse in a freezer inside her southwest Missouri home, where it may have been stored for nearly a year.

Sixty-seven-year-old Barbara Watters, of Joplin, was charged Wednesday with abandonment of a corpse.

An affidavit says a witness told police Monday that Paul Barton’s body had been in Watters’ freezer since his death on Dec. 30, 2018. The witness says Watters threatened to kill him if he notified police.

Police say in the affidavit that she has unspecified “mental disorders.”

Police said in a Facebook post that officers got a tip about the body while canvassing the neighborhood in an unrelated arson investigation and served a search warrant Tuesday.

An autopsy is planned to determine the cause of death.