Tooele City Police Dept. releases new details in case of body found in freezer

The body of Paul Edward Mathers, who would be 69 if alive, was found in the Remington Park apartment, he shared with his wife. Photo: Google Earth

TOOELE, Utah, Feb. 19, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Reports released Wednesday by the Tooele City Police Department shed new light on the 2019 case in which a man’s body was found after years in his wife’s freezer when police were sent to the residence on a welfare check.

But the report also raises new questions.

On Nov. 22 of last year, police conducted a welfare check on 75-year-old Jeanne Souron-Mathers, who was found deceased.

But after arriving at the residence, at Remington Park Apartments, 495 W. Utah Ave.,  police also opened a freezer there and found a body, determined to be that of Souron-Mathers’ husband, Paul Edward Mathers, who would be 69 if he were living.

An autopsy could not determine Mathers’ time of death, but medical and financial records obtained after warrants were issued suggest he may have died in early 2009, nearly 11 years before his body was discovered by police. It’s likely he died at about age 58, police have confirmed.

One of the last documents found with Mathers’ signature, proving he was alive at that time, was notarized on Dec. 2, 2008. The note — found taped on the wall of the apartment — attempts to absolve Mathers’ wife of any responsibility for his death. Records from a doctor’s appointment near that date confirm Mathers had end-stage bladder cancer.

The note, signed Paul E. Mathers, also lists an alternate name, referring to himself as Paula.

T.G. is an acronym sometimes used for transgender. That meaning cannot be confirmed since the writer and his wife are deceased.

The letter:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I, Paul E. Mathers, a.k.a. Paula, being of a relatively sound mind and cancer ridden body make the following statement: I am fully aware that with my heart condition the Lortabs/Hydrocodine will eventually stop my heart. It will not be deliberate as I am not ready to leave my wife, Jeanne Marie.

Jeanne has foiled my actual suicide attempts.

I want it known that Jeanne is in NO way responsible for my death. Although that will be what my drama queen mother will claim. My mother … can get on with her life without having to acknowledge that I her first born am a T.G.

The note is signed Paul E. Mathers, aka Paula E. Mathers.

The Tooele City Police Department statement said the medical examiner’s report on the deaths arrived today, Feb. 19.

Photo: Tooele City Police Department

Jeanne Souron-Mathers’ cause of death was ruled as “natural.” Mathers’ report was a bit more complex.

“The report stated that Mr. Mathers died of ‘undetermined causes,'” the Tooele City Police statement says.

“It is noted in the Medical Examiner’s report that Mr. Mathers had end of stage bladder cancer, for which he had only weeks to months to live in early 2009. It is also noted that Mr. Mathers’ toxicology included ‘highly lethal levels’ of several prescription narcotics.

When Mr. Mathers was located in the chest freezer, his body was wrapped in a garbage bag.

Officers got another surprise when they cut off the trash bag.

“When that bag was opened, it was noticed that Mr. Mathers had a garbage bag over his head, with it tightly duct taped around his neck,” the report says. “The Medical Examiners report states ‘It is unclear whether this was secured before or after death, therefore, an asphyxial cause of death cannot be ruled out. Because a definitive cause of death cannot be determined, the manner of death also remains undetermined.'”

Since Souron-Mathers continued to receive her husband’s veteran’s benefits checks — estimated to be worth $177,000 — after her husband’s death, investigators have speculated that a major motive for hiding Mathers’ death was financial.

Mathers note

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