Records: Wife of man found in freezer feared doctors

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Joplin Police Department shows Barbara Watters. Records show that police and state workers responded repeatedly to concerns about the care of a terminally ill Missouri man before his body was found in a freezer in his wife's bedroom, where it may have stored for nearly a year. Barbara Watters, of Joplin, has been charged with abandonment of a corpse.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Records show that police and state workers responded repeatedly to concerns about the care of a terminally ill Missouri man before his body was found in a freezer in his wife’s bedroom, where it may have stored for nearly a year.

Sixty-seven-year-old Barbara Watters, of Joplin, has been charged with abandonment of a corpse. An autopsy found no signs of foul play in the death of her husband, Paul Barton, whose body was found last week after a witness told police that he had died on Dec. 30, 2018, and that his body had been in her freezer ever since.

Police records obtained by The Associated Press show Watters feared that a doctor wanted to harvest Barton’s brain for research and that she was prohibiting him from receiving medical care.

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