Man jailed after wife’s dismembered body found

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The husband of a woman found dismembered in her Oceanside home is facing a possible murder charge, police said.

Fredrick Hengel, 69, was picked up after the discovery of the body, questioned, then booked on suspicion of murder, Oceanside police said. Authorities were withholding the woman’s name.

Someone called police to report a foul odor coming from a house in the 400 block of North Ditmar Street shortly after 11 a.m. Friday, and officer found the body shortly afterward.

Hengel was then picked up at a undisclosed location in downtown Oceanside, police said.

Neighbors told the U-T San Diego that they had not seen the woman in about a month and had heard what sounded like a power saw being used inside the house about two weeks ago.

Several neighbors told the U-T the woman had been exposing herself, and that her husband had been seen dressed in women’s clothing, makeup and jewelry. County Adult Protective Services had been to the home once before, police said.

Erick Chavez, 21, who lives next door, told the newspaper he started smelling something rotten about a week and a half ago. He and other neighbors described the couple as hostile.

“There’s no other word for it,” Chavez said. About six months ago, Chavez said the woman began wandering around the neighborhood with a butcher knife and exposing herself with her pants around her ankles. That went on for about a month, he said. The woman would preach, as well, he said, saying such things as, “God will smite you.”

One neighbor said Hengel had worked at Home Depot, and he sold her a ceiling fan. She said Hengel would sometimes wear blouses and makeup, including hot pink lipstick, and she saw him dressed in women’s clothing at a grocery store. Justin Kaufman, 27, another neighbor, said he saw Hengel this past summer wearing a floor-length purple dress, pearl necklace with pearl earrings, and carrying a fancy purse.