An older man, who buried his wife in his back yard because he did not want to be separated from his wife of 62 years and because he did not have the money to pay for a funeral, begged that she be left with him.
The man begged sheriff’s deputies when approached Wednesday afternoon, “Please don’t take my wife from me.”
The man is described as in his 80s and had not been identified as of Thursday.
Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane said, “It’s a tough deal. But we have to follow up on it. We have to check on it to make sure there was no foul play.”
Lane said the state medical examiner’s office was at the scene Thursday morning exhuming the body. He said the body was being exhumed by hand to make sure the scene was processed correctly. Once exhumed the body was transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Tulsa.
Lane explained the sheriff’s office received a tip by phone on Wednesday that a body was buried in the back yard at a home off Bawcom Road.
“We obtained a search warrant and served it between 3 and 5 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday),” Lane said Thursday morning. “It’s a harmless deal but we have to follow up on it. We understand she had been sick for a long time.”
Lane said the man, now a widower, told officers he buried his wife in the shallow grave a week to a week and a half ago.
“He was pretty distraught and couldn’t remember exactly,” Lane said.
Lane said law enforcement officials must now wait on reports from the medical examiner before determining what their next steps will be.
Although law enforcement suspects the woman died of natural causes, it is a misdemeanor to improperly dispose of or bury a body, the media was told.
A local funeral home has offered to assist the widower. Cleon Harrell of Forever Memories Funeral Services in Sallisaw stated that they will, "do whatever it takes to help this gentleman care for his wife's body."
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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