Police Locate Body in Freezer During Welfare Check

UPDATE: Late Tuesday afternoon Tooele City Police announced that an autopsy had been conducted on the unknown adult male found in Souron-Mathers' freezer and his identity had been established as that of her husband, 69 year old Paul Edward Mathers.


The autopsy did not, however, establish either a cause of death or narrow down the window on how long his body had been inside the freezer.


Police are still working to determine a cause of death.  They have not ruled the death a homicide, but are still labeling it as "suspicious."  No missing person report was ever filed for Paul Mathers.


Tooele City Police were called on Friday, November 22nd to conduct a welfare check at an apartment in a retirement community that they were quite familiar with.


“We had a history of checking on this female, making sure she was fine,” said Tooele City Police Department Sargent Jeremy Hansen said, elaborating that they had been at the apartment just a few weeks prior.


This time when they arrived, the maintenance worker let them into the apartment and they soon located 75 year old Jeanne Souron-Mathers lying on her bed, deceased.  Police reported that there were no apparent signs of trauma and her death was not considered suspicious.


As a part of their protocol, the officers called for detectives to investigate what they believed would be a routine scene of a death.


“[The officer’s] thinking, ‘OK, we just need to investigate the death, nothing super suspicious," calls the detective because that’s our protocol,” Hansen stated.  The detectives would come in and look around the apartment in order to establish an approximate date of death.


“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 explained.


They were not expecting to find anything out of the ordinary when the detectives lifted the lid of the chest freezer that they located within the apartment.


“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.


From what they could see, the body of the adult male was intact, but there was no way to establish a possible cause of death.  Foul play is suspected though, and police are awaiting the results of the medical examiner's report to establish the man's identity and cause of death.  The autopsy for the male will likely be performed after the Thanksgiving holiday.


Police are estimating, based on conversations they have had with others at the apartment community, that the man has been in the freezer for at least one year and possibly as long as 11 years.


Fox News 13 out of Salt Lake City reports that Souron-Mathers was married and that there was a man's name on the apartment lease paperwork with hers, but Police have not confirmed whether or not the body is suspected to belong to her husband.


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


KSL spoke to a neighbor of Souron-Mathers, Emily Walker, who stated that she could not imagine that her "sweet" 75 year old neighbor who used a wheelchair could have a man's body in her freezer.