BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) _ A retired private investigator has been accused of killing his wife and then trying to burn her corpse in a back yard incinerator.
Robert Wendell Walker told investigators that he shot 46-year-old Terrie Lee Walker in self-defense in their home near Beaverton, said Sgt. Marlene Gaskins, spokeswoman for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Walker, 52, said he tried for a week to destroy his wife’s body by burning it in an incinerator.
He was arrested Saturday and charged with murder, first-degree abuse of a corpse and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Neighbors said that almost every night for a week they had seen flames spewing from a barrel in the couple’s yard and smelled a ``pungent, awful odor″ that they thought was yard debris.
``It amazes me sometimes the inhumane things that one human can wreak upon another,″ said Eugene E. Jacobus, deputy medical examiner for Washington County.
Deputies had been to the Walkers’ home on Oct. 28 after an anonymous caller requested a welfare check on Terri Walker, police said.
Walker told police then that he had not seen his wife for a couple of weeks but expected her to return the following weekend.
A relative reported Terri Walker missing on Tuesday and said she had been missing for more than two weeks. When police returned on Tuesday, they didn’t find her. Investigators obtained a search warrant on Friday, and arrested Walker the next day.