Officials became suspicious of Ms Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson – who is named as the sole beneficiary of the deceased’s life insurance policy – after constantly changing her story
A pensioner has been accused of killing her 30-year-old husband and burning his naked body on the back patio of their home.
Police officers discovered the charred remains of Carmen Henderson, an 84-year-old former deputy sheriff, at an address in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania after Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson, 66, called 911.
She told the emergency services that her spouse had lit himself with a cigar.
But officers became suspicious of Zigerelli-Henderson, a former local politician, after noticing the body was in an advanced state of decomposition, suggesting it had been there for some time.
She also kept changing her story about what happened after originally claiming her husband committed suicide.
Additionally, the dispatcher who handled her earlier call described her as “reluctant to answer questions” and noted that “there was something very wrong with her.”
Officers also noted that there was a four-hour difference between the time Zigerelli-Henderson said she heard her husband scream in pain and the time she decided to call 911.
According to the report, the widow – who is listed as the sole beneficiary of her husband’s £10,000 life insurance policy – “eventually settled on a story” that she had seen him sitting around one o’clock in the morning in a folding camp chair.
He is said to have screamed because his lower leg was on fire, reports The Mail.
Investigators also appear to have identified a financial motive for the incident, as the couple owed around $40,000 in debt, an amount that Zigerelli-Henderson attributed to their love of lavish vacation homes, day spas and other “licentious activities.” . “
A failed limo deal, a second mortgage, and tax arrears also had to be factored in, threatening Zigerelli-Henderson with impending homelessness.
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Her husband is said to have made provisions for such a case and to move in with his children from a previous marriage.
However, Zigerelli-Henderson stated that she was not welcome to join him at the address.
She now faces charges of criminal homicide, aggravated arson, and arson causing death or personal injury because of the inconsistencies in her story.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 23.