Dinwiddie photo Webster County
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Prosecutors charged a southwest Missouri man Wednesday with second-degree murder, alleging he killed his wife in 2015 by hitting her in the head with a hammer and strangling her before stowing the body in a freezer at a storage unit.
Fifty-seven-year-old Larry Dinwiddie, of Marshfield, was also charged with abandonment of a corpse and armed criminal action in Cynthia Dinwiddie’s death. He is jailed on $1 million bond. No attorney was listed for him in online court records.
Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole said managers at the storage facility on the outskirts of the small town of Marshfield found the body Monday in a freezer that was plugged in and padlocked shut after the man fell behind on rental fees. Marshfield is located about 175 miles (280 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City.
Cole wrote in the probable cause affidavit that a person who worked at the storage unit then contacted Dinwiddie and encouraged him to remove the freezer from the storage unit where it had been kept for more than six months. The employee said the freezer wasn’t working and was beginning to smell.
Dinwiddie was arrested around 2 p.m. Tuesday when he showed up at the facility with friends to get the freezer. The affidavit said Dinwiddie described his wife as “an abusive alcoholic” and alleged that she threw a hammer at him during an argument. He said he couldn’t take it anymore and hit her with “everything” he could.
“After killing her, he was scared and didn’t know what to do with her body, so he drug her to the freezer and put her in it,” the affidavit said. Asked why he kept the corpse in the freezer for four years, Dinwiddie said he “just didn’t know what to do.”
He said friends helped him move the locked freezer from his old house to the storage unit without knowing a person was inside. A man who answered the phone at the storage facility declined to answer questions.
Cole said an autopsy will be conducted Monday after her body defrosts.
Authorities said there was no indication the woman had been reported missing. Cole says the man told people that she had left.
MARSHFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a southwest Missouri man who is suspected of killing his wife about four years ago and then stowing her body in a freezer in a storage unit.
Fifty-seven-year-old Larry Dinwiddie hasn’t yet been charged but was jailed in Webster County on a 24-hour investigative hold that expires Wednesday afternoon.
Sheriff Roye Cole says managers at the storage facility on the outskirts of the small town of Marshfield found the body of Cynthia Dinwiddie on Monday in a freezer that was plugged in and padlocked shut after the man fell behind on rental fees. Random food items were around her remains.
Cole said deputies working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol told the man the freezer had quit working and that he needed to pick it up. He was arrested around 2 p.m. Tuesday when he showed up at the facility.
"He was very cooperative. He knew the jig was up," Cole said.
Cole says the man confessed to killing the woman at a different location.
"He claimed that she had been abusive to him in the past and that he lost it," Cole said. "He said he couldn't handle it."
Cole said an autopsy has been scheduled Monday, but Dinwiddie allegedly told investigators it was blunt force trauma, strangulation and possibly blood loss.
"He said he did it with a hammer and then strangled her," Cole said.
Online property records showed the couple had lived in Webster County since at least the early 2000s. Authorities said there was no indication the woman had been reported missing. Cole says the man told people that she had left.
Cole and Webster County prosecuting attorney Benjamin Berkstresser didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.