Man stored wife’s body in hope of resurrection

A 75-YEAR-OLD man stored his wife’s body for nearly six years in his backyard, twisted and upside down in an old freezer, because he hoped she could someday be brought back to life, authorities said.

When police went to Edwin Rowlette’s home after receiving a tip from his daughter, they found dozens of cats along with faeces and urine inside the house. The backyard, where one of the daughter’s friends discovered the body, was cluttered with garbage, debris, insulation and furniture.

Authorities found Marcia Lynn Rowlette’s body packed in dry ice and insulation and stored along with the bodies of 10 dead cats. Rowlette told police he used the cats for research.

Rowlette was arrested last week on a felony charge of crimes against the dead. Investigators are trying to determine if he legally acquired his wife’s body from a funeral home and whether he submitted the proper documents.

“One of the areas that we’re looking at is if he had committed a fraud in obtaining the body,” said Prescott police Sergeant Michael Kabbel.

Prescott, a pine-studded town of about 33,000, is located 90 miles north of Phoenix.

Rowlette told police he was keeping his wife Marcia’s body frozen in hopes that someday science could bring her back to life.

Marcia Rowlette was wheelchair-bound and lived in a nursing home before she died December 15, 1997, of respiratory failure. The 38-year-old woman had a history of rheumatoid arthritis and musculoskeletal problems.

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