Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Frozen Man of Carlsbad

From the Carlsbad Current-Argus:
Woman allegedly froze husband's body, kept receiving his retirement
By Matlin Smith
Current-Argus Staff Writer
Posted: 01/26/2011 04:14:32 PM MST

CARLSBAD, New Mexico — Investigators with the Eddy County Sheriff's Office have released bizarre details in the case of the man's body found Monday evening in the freezer of a home south of town.  (Video here)

According to information from Capt. Jeff Zuniga, at 7:50 p.m. Monday, the body of a human male was discovered in a chest-type freezer at a residence on the 1200 block of Haston Road.

The body was discovered by a daughter and son-in-law who were cleaning out the home of their mother, Barbara Sharpe, who passed away in November 2010.

Upon finding the body, the pair loaded the freezer into the back of a pickup truck and transported it to the Carlsbad Police Department. After determining that the incident occurred in the county, the CPD turned the investigation over to the sheriff's department.

"The body located within the freezer may be that of James Sharpe of Carlsbad, who has been unaccounted for since 1997," said Zuniga.

James Sharpe was known to be the husband of the late Barbara Sharpe, who died of health complications at the age of 63.

Before her death, Barbara Sharpe most recently went by Barbara Campbell, after assuming the last name of a male companion who came into the picture a few years after Sharpe's death.

According to investigators, at this point in the investigation nothing has surfaced to indicate that the companion was aware of the body in the freezer. Prior to its discovery, the freezer reportedly was in Barbara Sharpe's bedroom on Haston Road.

Investigators say information uncovered so far leans towards the possibility that James Sharpe may have died due to a terminal health condition in 1997; he would have been in his early 70s then.

"Barbara had mentioned to a health care worker prior to her death that she had stored her late husband in a freezer. The health care worker dismissed the statement due to Barbara Sharpe's grave condition," Zuniga stated.

The health care worker is the only person who has come forward with any knowledge of the body thus far, said Zuniga.

Additionally, documentation allegedly drafted by Barbara Sharpe was found in her personal property explaining why her husband was in the freezer.

The documentation reportedly indicated that she was remorseful, but couldn't afford to survive without his retirement income.

"The ECSO Special Investigations Unit will continue to work closely with the Office of the Medical Investigator to confirm the official identity of the decedent as well as the cause and manner of death," said Zuniga.


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