Woman Kept Dead Body to Avoid Loneliness

Authorities believe man died of natural causes at age 67 in December 2010

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A woman said she kept the dead body of her companion in a chair in their southern Michigan house for months because she didn't want to be alone.

    Linda Chase, 72, said she kept the remains of Charles Zigler clean and dressed and talked to the body while watching NASCAR on television.

    "It's not that I'm heartless. ... I didn't want to be alone. He was the only guy who was ever nice to me," Chase told the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

    Jackson police discovered Zigler's body in a living room chair last week. Authorities believe he died of natural causes at age 67 in December 2010, although Chase said it was last December. She said there wasn't a bad smell.

    She has not been arrested but is being investigated for financial fraud. Chase admits cashing Zigler's benefit checks after his death.

    "I'm probably going to prison," she told the newspaper. "I told them the truth. I didn't lie about that."

    Authorities said the investigation will take time.

    "It's a bizarre case. There's no other way of describing it," said Mark Blumer, Jackson County's chief assistant prosecutor.

    Wally Zigler, 48, said his father worked in a machine shop and received Social Security, pension checks and veteran benefits. He said he tried to see his dad, but Chase wouldn't let him in the house.

    "That wasn't right to leave him lay like that," Zigler said.