A 57-year-old Norwegian man was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison by a Swedish court on Monday for fraud and falsifying records, according to Fox News. The man had preserved his wife’s body in a freezer for almost five years in order to collect her pension.
The man’s lawyer told local paper Nya Wermlands-Tidningen, “They didn’t want to be buried at a public cemetery but at the farm, actually. So he put her in the freezer to later bury her outside and then it fell by the wayside.”
The man allegedly told his friends and family that his 60-year-old was alive even after she died from cancer in 2018. According to an English-language Norwegian news site, the woman’s family reported her missing after losing contact with her, but the man kept telling them that she was either sleeping or unavailable before eventually telling them she no longer wanted to speak with them.
The police found her body in March following a tip, and the man admitted that he hid her death and body.
The man told investigators that he put his wife in a freezer after finding her dead in their home. The couple lived in Arjang, which is about 340 kilometres west of Stockholm.
According to a few local media reports, the man had stored the body in the freezer which he also used to store food. In the meantime, the man kept claiming the woman’s pension and tax rebates, a total sum of more than 1.2 million Norwegian kroner ($116,000).
“The man also used the freezer for other purposes which I argue means that the deceased person’s sanctity of the grave was violated every time the man opened and closed the freezer, which is an aggravating circumstance,” said prosecutor Linda Karlsson in a statement.
The court has convicted the man on charges of gross breach of civil liberties, gross fraud, mutilating a corpse, and falsification of documents, among others.