TOOELE — Tooele police believe the body of a man found inside his wife’s freezer had been there for a decade before it was discovered.
As detectives continue to unravel the mystery of the odd discovery made in November, police have provided an update on the suspected timeline.
On Nov. 22, the body of 75-year-old Jeanne Sourone-Mathers was found inside her residence at the Remington Park Apartments, 495 W. Utah Ave., while police were conducting a welfare check. Police say she died of natural causes.
But as officers searched the house looking for clues as to how long she may have been deceased, the body of Sourone-Mathers’ husband, Paul Edward Mathers, 69, was found inside a 3- to 4-foot wide freezer located in a utility room.
Initially, based on interviews with neighbors, police said the body may have been in the freezer anywhere from 1 1⁄2 years to 11 years.
Now, Tooele Police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen said based on their investigation, they believe Mathers died sometime in early 2009. A cause of death, however, was still undetermined as of Thursday.
One of the possible motives being explored is whether Sourone-Mathers kept her husband’s body so she could still collect his Social Security and Veterans Affairs checks, according to Hansen. Detectives have subpoenaed records from both agencies and were waiting Thursday for replies.
Neighbors noted that Sourone-Mathers was in a wheelchair at the end of her life. But 10 years ago, she was not. Whether she would have been able to put her husband — who police say was not a big man — into the freezer by herself is also still being investigated by detectives.