Utah man found in freezer exonerated wife of death with note

TOOELE, Utah (AP) — A Utah man whose body was found in a freezer exonerated his wife by leaving a typed, notarized note saying she bore no responsibility in his death.

The note left by Paul Edward Mathers cleared the late Jeanne Souron-Mathers, although questions remain, authorities said.

“I want it known that Jeanne is in NO way responsible for my death,” Mathers wrote in the letter notarized Dec. 2, 2008.

“I am fully aware that with my heart conditio(n) the Lortabs/Hydrocodine will eventually stop my heart,” Mathers’ wrote. “It will not be deliberate as I am not ready to leave my wife, Jeanne Marie. Jeanne has foiled my actual suicide attempts.”

A maintenance worker found the deceased 75-year-old woman in her Tooele home Nov. 22. The state medical examiner ruled she died of natural causes.

As police searched for clues about her death, they discovered Mathers’ body in a freezer.

Mathers had terminal cancer. Police were unable to conclude if his illness was the ultimate cause of death. Investigators believe he died sometime between Feb. 4, 2009, and March 8, 2009.

Mathers’ head was wrapped in a garbage bag that was secured with duct tape around his neck. Authorities could not determine if the bag was placed there before or after his death.

Whether anyone else was involved in putting Mathers’ body in the freezer also remains unanswered.

Many of those with direct knowledge of what happened have died, while other challenges in collecting information and evidence have left police resigned to end the investigation without a definitive conclusion, Tooele Police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen said.

“We are never going to have final answers,” Hansen said.