Woman Kept Husband's Body In Freezer Over Fears Doctors Wanted His Brain

A Missouri woman is facing charges for allegedly keeping the remains of her husband in a freezer in her bedroom for nearly a year. Authorities searched the home of Barbara Watters after receiving a tip that her husband, Paul Barton, had died on December 30, 2018.

Watters was not home when officers served the search warrant. Inside her house, they found Barton's body preserved in a freezer. Authorities eventually managed to track down Watters, and she was booked on a single charge of abandonment of a corpse.

Prior to Barton's death, police made multiple wellness checks at their home. Watters would not let officers speak with her husband alone, and refused to let them inside the house. She even covered the windows with aluminum foil to prevent them from seeing inside.

Watters, who has unspecified “mental disorders,” told police that her husband had ALS, and she was worried that doctors wanted to remove his brain so they could study it.

“She kept making mention of Paul’s body being used for research,” a police report said. “She said they did not want his body to be taken apart. Barbara said due to them refusing to consent to research, they were having a hard time finding a doctor to help them.”

Watters was released on house arrest and faces up to four years in jail if she is convicted.

Photo: Joplin Police Department

Mark Kroschel

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