Arizona | A man was arrested this morning by deputies of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office for illegally stuffing the body of his deceased wife and exposing it in his residence’s living room.
51-year old Maurice Paterson is a renowned taxidermist who earns a living by stuffing animals destined to be kept as hunting trophies or pet memorials.
According to the police report, when his wife Mary died of breast cancer two years ago, he decided to memorialize her in his own unique way.
Mr. Paterson stuffed his wife with incredible care before dressing her up and placing her in a sitting position on her usual couch.
Frank Robbins, a friend of the accused, says the illusion was so perfect that he didn’t even know that Mary was dead.
“The police told me she had been dead for at least two years, but I have to admit I never noticed even if I saw her dozens of times. I had always seen her silent in her corner, watching tv.”
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Captain Dale McPhee, says they were tipped off after an accident finally revealed the woman’s condition.
“A pizza delivery guy called us after he accidentally bumped her very lightly, causing her to fall flat on her face and leaving one of her glass eyes rolling on the floor.”
Mr. Paterson faces extremely serious criminal charges of desecration of a human corpse and abuse of a dead body.
If found guilty on all charges, he faces a total of 20 years in prison and a fine of $150,000.
His trial is set to begin in January at the Coconino County Superior Court, in Flagstaff.