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Woman buries husband in shallow grave in Apple Valley

June 20, 2013 12:55:44 AM PDT
An Apple Valley woman told police she buried her husband in the backyard because she couldn't afford a proper burial. Now, investigators are trying to figure out if he died of natural causes.

Police say at this point, there is no evidence of a crime.

They say the 59-year-old woman called authorities Wednesday afternoon. It's unclear what was said to dispatchers, but a dispatcher was concerned enough to send a deputy to the home on the 16000 block of Navajo Road to do a welfare check.

When the deputy arrived, the woman, described as very distraught, told the deputy that her husband had died a few weeks ago. Because money was so tight, she didn't know what to do, so she buried him in the backyard.

Investigators found the 63-year-old man buried in a shallow grave in the backyard. Authorities say there were no signs of trauma to the man's body. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

Steven Hastings, a next-door neighbor, said the woman had hired him to help paint and fix up the house a few weeks ago to put it up for sale. The woman told him that her husband did not want to live there anymore.

"From what she told me, he went back to his daughter in Orange County and (was) staying with them while she gets the place ready for selling, and that was the end of that," Hastings said.

The home was going for an asking price of $115,000. The man who wanted to purchase the home spoke to Eyewitness News, but he did not want to be identified.

"She said that she didn't know what to do, her husband was sick and that's why she is selling the house, and she needed the money cash and up-front, that's what she wanted," said the man.

His realtor told him Wednesday about what happened at the home.

The woman has not been arrested, but it is a misdemeanor to bury someone in any other place than a cemetery. So far, there is no word on whether she will be charged.

Eyewitness News attempted to contact the woman at the home Thursday, but no one answered the door.


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