JOPLIN, Mo. (CBS Local) — Police in Missouri have issued a warrant for the arrest of a woman who allegedly kept her husband’s body in a freezer in her bedroom for nearly a year.
Barbara J. Watters, 67, has been charged with abandonment of a corpse without notifying authorities, KSN reported. Bond was set at $100,000 cash.
Police believe Paul N. Barton, 70, died on Dec. 30, 2018, and was being kept by his wife in a freezer in her bedroom, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Jasper County Court on Wednesday.
Police executed a search warrant Tuesday night after they got a tip while investigating an unrelated burglary/arson case at a neighboring property.
“A deceased human body was discovered stored in a freezer in Barbara Watters bedroom,” the probable cause affidavit stated. “Jasper and Newton County Coroner’s were contacted and had no records of Paul N. Barton being reported as deceased.”
An autopsy will determine the cause of the Barton’s death, investigators said.
Watters, who remains at large, was last known driving a white Lincoln with a Missouri license number TC4S9Z.
She is armed, according to the probable cause affidavit, and has threatened police and people before.
People with any information about the case are encouraged to contact the Joplin Police Department or their local law enforcement agency.