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Woman, 66, charged with murdering her retired deputy sheriff husband and then burning his naked body

A woman has been accused of killing her retired deputy husband and burning his naked body on their front porch, it has been revealed.

Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson, 66, charged with criminal manslaughter, aggravated arson and arson, after horrific police discovery at the couple’s home Thursday, in a Pennsylvania suburb of Susquehanna, 40 miles north of Scranton.

Police said when they found the badly burned body of 84-year-old Carmen Henderson around 5 a.m., fly larvae found in the nose and mouth of the former Dauphin County Deputy Sheriff indicated that he had been dead for some time. .

Larvae usually form in a rotting corpse after one to three days.

Lawmen came across the ex-cop’s savage body after Zigerelli-Henderson, a former political candidate and politician in the county, called 911 to tell She suspected her husband set himself on fire, according to a statement of probable cause.

However, the police said it took her four hours to call – and once the police arrived, they were unable to give a straight line, leaving officers suspicious.

According to police, the operator wrote in Zigerelli-Henderson’s notes late at night: ‘There is something very wrong with the caller. She hesitates to answer questions.’

The woman also allegedly admitted that her husband, who retired in 1995, had a $10,000 life insurance policy, listing her as the sole beneficiary.

Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson, 66, has been charged with criminal manslaughter, aggravated arson and arson, following police's horrific discovery Thursday at the couple's home in the Pennsylvania suburb of Susquehanna, 40 miles north of Scranton

Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson, 66, has been charged with criminal manslaughter, aggravated arson and arson, following police’s horrific discovery Thursday at the couple’s home in the Pennsylvania suburb of Susquehanna, 40 miles north of Scranton

Police said when they found the badly burned body of 84-year-old Carmen Henderson (pictured in this undated photo) around 5 a.m., fly larvae found in the nose and mouth of the ex-chief of the deputy sheriff of Dauphin County indicated he had been dead longer than his wife had told officers, making them suspicious and eventually arresting the widow

Police said when they found the badly burned body of 84-year-old Carmen Henderson (pictured in this undated photo) around 5 a.m., fly larvae found in the nose and mouth of the ex-chief of the deputy sheriff of Dauphin County indicated he had been dead longer than his wife had told officers, making them suspicious and eventually arresting the widow

Police said it was not immediately clear when the former officer died, and have not yet released a cause of death.

Officers arrived at the home, located at 306 Stuart Place, to find Henderson, badly burned and naked on the couple’s back patio, police wrote in Zigerelli-Henderson’s arrest warrant.

Police soon began to suspect Zigerelli-Henderson, however, after her story of finding her husband’s burned body began to change when she was questioned by investigators.

She initially claimed it was suicide, police said – but when prodded further, the woman allegedly changed her story to say her husband accidentally set himself on fire while smoking a cigar on the porch.

That claim came after officers caught Zigerelli-Henderson in what appeared to be a lie, after she told dispatchers during the 911 call she heard her husband yells around 1:00 am.

Zigerelli-Henderson, a former local politician who worked as a clerk for nearby Beaver County in the 1980s and in the state auditor general’s office, was unable to explain to officers why she waited four hours to call 911, the officers wrote. the charge.

According to police, the widow “finally settled” with a story in which she claimed she saw her husband sitting in a folding camp chair with underpants on fire as he shouted her name for help around 1 a.m., prompting her to to call 911.

However, in this account of the events leading up to the former officer’s death, the defendant is said to have picked up the phone to call 911 but inexplicably decided not to call.

Police said the woman could not explain why she chose not to call when she saw her husband on fire.

Officers arrived at the home, located at 306 Stuart Place, to find Henderson, badly burned and naked on the couple's patio, police wrote in Zigerelli-Henderson's arrest warrant

Officers arrived at the home, located at 306 Stuart Place, to find Henderson, badly burned and naked on the couple’s patio, police wrote in Zigerelli-Henderson’s arrest warrant

Investigators also allegedly discovered during their questioning of the suspect that she had a financial motive for the alleged murder, with the two reportedly deeply in debt – to the tune of approximately $40,000.

That debt, Zigerelli-Henderson allegedly told police, was largely her fault, police said, with her admitting that they spent all of the couple’s money on a combination of lavish vacation homes, day spas, and other and other “smug activities.”

She also admitted to taking down their shared business, Henderson Limousine Service, costing the couple even more money.

The blame, the officers said, stemmed from… a second mortgage the couple had put on their home, as well as back taxes.

Police wrote in Zigerelli-Henderson’s arrest warrant that the couple had accepted their home to be seized for the debt, and that Henderson planned to live with his children from another marriage.

‘E. Henderson stated she knew she would soon be homeless,” said the indictment obtained by Lancaster NBC affiliate WGAL.

‘E. Henderson said that C. Henderson would live with his children from another marriage. E. Henderson stated that she was not welcome to live with the children.”

Zigerelli-Henderson, pictured here in the undated photo decades ago, was a self-proclaimed

Zigerelli-Henderson, pictured here in the undated photo decades ago, was a self-proclaimed “mighty political name in western Pennsylvania,” served as clerk of courts in nearby counties in the 1980s, and was without a record four times in the 2010s. successful candidate for office.

According to PennLive, the couple reportedly married 30 years ago and have been prominent figures in their local community ever since.

Aside from her stints as a politician from 1983 to 1988, Zigerelli-Henderson ran unsuccessfully for Dauphin County Clerk of the Courts in 2011, the Susquehanna Township School Board in 2014, Dauphin County Sheriff in 2015, and Prothonotary in 2017.

“Zigerelli is a powerful political name in western Pennsylvania,” she told PennLive in 2011. “Everyone knows me in Beaver County.”

Henderson, meanwhile, served with the Dauphin County Police Department for decades before retiring in 1995 at age 57, having recently met Zigerelli-Henderson.

The 66-year-old suspect is now charged with criminal manslaughter, aggravated arson and arson with risk of death or personal injury due to the inconsistencies in her story.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 23.

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