A small community of Christians in Canada left the body of a deceased member for six months trusting God to resurrect him from the dead. The Crown found no criminal intent and the grieving widow was ordered to seek public health counseling.
The unusual case was resolved on Monday as Kaling Wald, 50, pledged guilty to failing to notify the authorities of her husband Peter’s death.
The 52-year-old, who suffered from diabetes, got a leg infection sometime in March. But he refused to go to hospital, trusting God to cure him. Eventually the disease took over and he slipped into coma and died sometime around March 20, according to the agreed statement of facts read out in court.
Mrs. Wald covered the body with two blankets, the head with a toque (beanie), padlocked the bedroom door and sealed vents to keep the decomposition stench from the house. She believed her husband would be eventually resurrected from and return to his family.
“We were trusting God. We thought, ‘OK, Lord, you know better,’” Wald told the Hamilton Spectator after the court hearings.
The corpse had been lying upstairs for six months before the sheriff had arrived to evict Wald, her six children aged between 11 and 22 and seven adult friends from their home in Hamilton, Ontario, due to failure to pay the mortgage.
The sheriff discovered the body, which by that time had been partially eaten by rodents and decomposed badly enough that it could not be identified by a photo.
Due to the mummified state of the body, a toxicology test could not be conducted, but the pathologist stated that the death was “likely due to natural causes.”