The man whose frozen body was found in his wife’s Tooele apartment apparently left a notarized letter indicating that she didn’t kill him — she just kept his body in a freezer in her home for more than a decade.
The letter — believed to have been written by Paul Edward Mathers and signed Dec. 2, 2008 — “was found in the home,” said Tooele City Police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen. “It says that his wife was not responsible for his death.”
He said handwriting experts have not verified Mathers' signature, but detectives have spoken with the woman who notarized the letter. She told police she did not read it before she stamped and signed it.
He added, “There's more in the letter, but we're not releasing that yet.”
On Nov. 22, Tooele police were called to the Remington Park Apartments at 495 W. Utah Ave. to check on the welfare of one of the residents. Inside, they found the body of 75-year-old Jeanne Souron-Mathers. While investigating her death, police found the body of her husband, Mathers, in a freezer.
According to Hansen, police have determined that Mathers was “known to be terminally ill” before he disappeared. He’s believed to have died sometime between Feb. 4 — when he had a doctor appointment at the George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City — and March 8, 2009.
Hansen said the Department of Veterans Affairs has verified that benefits continued to be paid to Mathers until his wife’s death was discovered.
“We don’t have the final report from them yet, but the preliminary report indicates that if our time frame is accurate” and Mathers died in February or March 2009, “she would received more than $157,000 in VA benefits” after he died, Hansen said. Police are also investigating whether Souron-Mathers continued to receive Social Security benefits for her husband.
Mathers, who was 58 when he was last seen in 2009, was identified by his fingerprints. His cause of death has not yet been determined. “We’re expecting that report to come back soon,” Hansen said, and detectives are “wrapping up” their investigation into his death.
“It’s a very odd case,” he said.