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Dismembered Wife

Following months of odd behavior, a 68-year-old man was arrested after his wife’s body was found dismembered in their Oceanside home, police said.

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Frederick Hengl

An Oceanside man allegedly dismembered his wife and was in the process of cooking her remains when police officers responded to the couple’s home. (11-21-2012)

SAN DIEGO — An Oceanside man accused of killing his wife and dismembering her body at their home succumbed to prostate cancer while in custody awaiting trial, authorities disclosed Friday.

Frederick Hengl, 69, died in a medical unit at the downtown San Diego Central Jail last Friday night, according to prosecutors and the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

At the time of his death, Hengl was facing charges of murder, cruelty to an elder and committing an unlawful act with human remains in connection with the death of his spouse of 34 years, Anna Faris.

Hengl’s preliminary hearing in the case had been postponed earlier this year so he could receive continuous medical treatment, according to Steve Walker, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office.

Hengl’s attorney, Debby Kirkwood, has said her client became very sick and lost his will to live after the death of his “bride,” who was in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease when she died at age 73 last year. Hengl had quit his job in February 2012 to take care of Faris full-time, Kirkwood said.

At Hengl’s arraignment last fall, prosecutor Kate Flaherty said police went to the couple’s home on North Ditmar Street last Nov. 16 after neighbors complained of a powerful stench emanating from the residence. Inside the house, officers saw what they thought was meat cooking on the stove, she said.

After contacting Hengl at a nearby bar, officers realized that he was in the process of dismembering his wife’s body, according to Flaherty.

Authorities found Faris’ head in a bag in the couple’s freezer, and in a bathroom discovered what appeared to be a makeshift work area, with a saw and boning knife and other cutting instruments, the prosecutor said. A sack with pieces of bone that had been freshly cut also was found in the home.

Neighbors said they had not seen the victim in about a month and had heard what sounded like a power saw coming from the residence.

Hengl denied killing his wife, saying she died of natural causes, Kirkwood said.

 

VISTA, Calif. — An man accused dismembering his wife and cooking her body parts has been hospitalized, forcing court officials to postpone a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Frederick Hengl, 68, is accused in the death of his spouse of 34 years, Anna Faris. The 73-year-old woman was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease when she died, said Hengl’s attorney, Debby Kirkwood.

Frederick Hengl

An Oceanside man allegedly dismembered his wife and was in the process of cooking her remains when police officers responded to the couple’s home. (11-21-2012)

Kirkwood said Hengl has been very sick and lost his will to live since his “bride” died. He has been hospitalized for the past few days at Tri-City Hospital.

The attorney said Hengl quit his job in February 2012 to take care of Faris full-time.

“He was very sad after she died,” Kirkwood said, telling reporters that Hengl can’t walk and has lost weight — down to 110 pounds — since his wife died.

At Hengl’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Kate Flaherty said police went to the couple’s home on North Ditmar Street last Nov. 16 after neighbors complained of a powerful foul odor coming from the residence.

Officers at the scene saw what they thought was meat cooking on the stove, Flaherty said.

After contacting Hengl at a nearby bar, officers realized that he was in the process of dismembering his wife’s body, the prosecutor said.

Officers found Faris’ head in the freezer wrapped in a bag, according to Flaherty.

In the bathroom, officers found what appeared to be a work area, with a saw and boning knife and other cutting instruments, the prosecutor said.

A bag with pieces of bone that had been freshly cut was also found in the home, according to Flaherty.

Neighbors said they had not seen the victim in about a month and heard what sounded like a power saw coming from the residence in early November.

Whenever a preliminary hearing is scheduled, Hengl will claim that he didn’t kill his wife and that she died of natural causes, Kirkwood said.

The defendant is charged with murder, cruelty to an elder and committing an unlawful act with human remains. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

VISTA, Calif. — An Oceanside man accused of killing his wife and dismembering her body in their home pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges.

Frederick Hengl, 68, was ordered held in lieu of $5 million bail in the death of 73-year-old Anna Faris.

The defendant, who is also charged with willful cruelty to an elder and committing an unlawful act with human remains, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty told Judge Marshall Hockett that police went to the couple’s home on North Ditmar Street last Friday after neighbors complained of a very strong, foul odor coming from the residence.

Officers entered the home through a window and saw what they thought was meat cooking on the stove, Flaherty said.

After contacting the defendant at a nearby bar, police realized that he was in the process of dismembering his wife, according to the prosecutor.

“There was not instantaneous recognition on the part of the officers, understandably, on what it was they were seeing, but they put two and two together pretty quickly after he (Hengl) was contacted,” Flaherty said outside court. “They (officers) did find the victim’s head, which had been severed at the very top of the cervical vertebrae, in the freezer wrapped in a bag.”

In the bathroom, officers found what appeared to be a work area, with a saw and boning knife and other cutting instruments, the prosecutor said. A bag with pieces of bone that had been freshly cut was also found in the home, Flaherty said.

The victim’s cause of death is still pending. When the victim died is not known, although authorities said Faris was seen prior to Nov. 1.

Neighbors told reporters that they had not seen the victim in about a month and had heard what sounded like a power saw in use in the couple’s home about two weeks ago.

Several people who live in the neighborhood said Faris had been behaving bizarrely since last spring, exposing herself, wandering around carrying a butcher knife and making religious pronouncements, telling people such things as “God will smite you.”

Her husband, meanwhile, had been going out dressed in women’s clothing, makeup and jewelry, neighbors told reporters.

The judge scheduled a readiness conference for Dec. 3 and a preliminary hearing for Dec. 5.

 

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.

VISTA, Calif. — The husband of a 73-year-old Oceanside woman found dismembered in the couple’s home following months of odd behavior on both their parts is expected to be arraigned Wednesday on a first-degree murder charge.

Frederick Joseph Hengl, 68, was arrested Friday for the alleged slaying and mutilation of his wife, Anna-Maria.

About 11:30 that morning, officers responding to reports of an overpowering foul odor emanating from the couple’s house in the 400 block of North Ditmar Street found the woman’s remains. Police then located Frederick Hengl in downtown Oceanside, took him in for questioning and subsequently arrested him, Lt. Leonard Mata said.

Neighbors told reporters they had not seen the suspect’s wife in about a month and had heard what sounded like a power saw in use in the couple’s home about two weeks ago.

County Adult Protective Services workers had been to the residence on one occasion, according to police.

Several people who live in the neighborhood said Anna-Maria Hengl had been behaving bizarrely since last spring, exposing herself, wandering around carrying a butcher knife and making religious pronouncements, telling people such things as, “God will smite you.”

Her husband, meanwhile, had been going out dressed in women’s clothing, makeup and jewelry, area residents told news crews.

One neighbor said the one-time Home Depot employee, who had sold her a ceiling fan, would sometimes wear blouses and makeup, including “hot pink” lipstick. Another said he saw Frederick Hengl last summer clad in a floor- length purple dress, pearl necklace and pearl earrings, carrying an ornate purse.

The suspect was being held without bail in county jail in Vista.

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.

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