Widow who ‘kept dead husband in freezer’ loses court bid to get his body back

A widow who was previously accused of keeping her dead husband in a freezer has lost a court battle to get his body back.

Barbara Watters was arrested in 2019 after her deceased husband was found in a freezer.

She was later charged with abandonment of a corpse, but this was dropped in January after a judge stated Watters did not abandon her husband’s body, but in fact sought to preserve it.

The 68-year-old filed a lawsuit against the police department and the Jasper County coroner in the city of Joplin to hand over her late husband’s body.

However, the case has been dismissed because Watters failed to show up in court orders regarding pretrial proceedings, reports Crime Online.

Watters denied receiving the two court orders and claims she will continue to fight the legal battle, saying: “I’m not done.

Widow who 'kept dead husband in freezer' loses court bid to get his body back
Barbara Watters says she put her husband’s body in the freezer because he was scared

“They think they got away with something. But I’m not done.”

The lawsuit was dismissed on November 2 by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Watters’ husband, Paul Barton, died of natural causes, possibly as far back as in 2018 according to an autopsy.

But she decided to keep his body in the freezer because she was scared a doctor would take his organs and tissue for medical testing, it is alleged.

She also claims her husband had expressed his fears about undergoing testing before his death.

According to the autopsy there were no signs of foul play on Mr Barton’s body.

Widow who 'kept dead husband in freezer' loses court bid to get his body back
Watters was arrested last year after the discovery was made

Watters claims her husband died from a rare form of Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Speaking to the Joplin Globe, the widow said: “He told me to buy a freezer and to put him in it, so he could not be dug up.”

Paul Barton’s body is currently being stored at Jasper County coroner’s office.