‘Very suspicious’: Investigation underway after Tooele Police find body in freezer during welfare check at retirement community

TOOELE, Utah — An investigation is underway after police made a shocking discovery while performing a welfare check Friday.

Tooele City Police said they received a call from a maintenance worker at the Remington Park Retirement Apartments around 11 a.m. Friday, requesting a welfare check for a 75-year-old resident whom he had not seen in two weeks.

“We had a history of checking on this female, making sure she was fine,” said TCPD Sgt. Jeremy Hansen, as he recalled a separate welfare check having been conducted just a few weeks prior.

Upon arrival, police said the case quickly turned into something "crazy."

“I’ve been here 13 years, and this is one of the strangest cases. We’ve never had anything like this,” Hansen said.

Police said when officers arrived at the unit off 495 W. Utah Avenue, the maintenance worker let them into the woman’s apartment. They found the tenant, 75-year-old Jeanne Souron-Mathers dead on her bed, with "no apparent trauma."

“[The officer’s] thinking, ‘OK, we just need to investigate the death, nothing super suspicious," calls the detective because that’s our protocol,” Hansen explained.

According to police, the detective started the investigation, trying to determine how long Mathers had been deceased.

“We can look at like food in the fridge, freezers, anything that gives us some sort of a timeline as to when that person actually died,” Hansen said.

Then, police found the last thing they were expecting — a second body.

“The detective sees a deep freezer in the utility room, he opens it up and immediately finds an unidentified, deceased adult male in the freezer,” Hansen said.

The body, which was fully intact, is believed to have been in the freezer 1.5 to 11 years.

Police said Mathers had lived in the unit since December 2007. To try to narrow down the time-frame, police began questioning surrounding neighbors; when asked the last time they saw a man in the woman’s apartment, they received a wide range of answers.

“That’s why our time-frame is so large,” Hansen explained.

Police said Mathers was married and there was a male’s name alongside hers on the lease. However, the man’s identity has yet to be confirmed.

“The biggest piece of the puzzle right now is we need him identified,” Hansen said.

Both bodies were taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner for autopsy. Investigators are also waiting to receive the toxicology results for Mathers, which could take weeks.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the autopsy on the man’s body will take place at the end of the week.

Police believe foul play was involved and said the case is highly suspicious.

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