The body of a man found in a freezer last month is believed to have been there for 10 years.

And the 75-year-old is also said to have left a note stating his wife didn't kill him, according to officials.

Police were called to a welfare check in Utah on November 22 and found 75-year-old Jeanne Sourone-Mathers dead inside her apartment.

She had died of natural causes at her home in the town of Tooele, about 35 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

When police conducted a further search of the apartment, they discovered the body of 69-year-old Paul Edwards Mathers in a freezer.

Jeanne Souron-Mathers was found dead in her apartment home - but so was her long-dead husband

In addition to the body, investigators found a notarized letter signed by Paul Mathers stating his wife did not kill him.

Tooele Police Sgt Jeremy Hansen told FOX13: "It was notarized on December 2, 2008.

"We believe he had a terminal illness."

Police believe that Souron-Mathers left her husband dead in the freezer sometime between February 4 2009 and March 8 2009.

Mathers was last seen alive on February 4 at an appointment at the Veterans Affairs hospital.

Tooele Police Sgt Jeremy Hansen

The person who notarized the letter in 2008 has been interviewed by police as part of the investigation.

“She told the detective she didn’t read the note, she just stamped it and signed it,”  Hansen told FOX13 .

Authorities are investigating why the woman kept the body and whether she wanted to keep collecting his Social Security and Veteran’s Affairs checks,  the Deseret News reported .

Tooele police told FOX13 they believe Souron-Mathers received at least $177,000 (£135,000) in government benefits over the 10-year period.

Detectives, who have not ruled out homicide, also are investigating whether the woman had any help putting the body in the freezer, which was in a utility room.

The apartment where the bodies of Jeanne Souron-Mathers and Paul Edwards Mathers were found

The woman used a wheelchair, but did not need one in early 2009 when her husband died, police said.

Police told FOX13 that further information contained in the letter is not being released at the moment.

Read More

Top news stories from Mirror Online

Neighbors who live in the retirement community where the discovery was made said that Sourone-Mathers was a "very nice person" who would not "hurt a fly."

Evan Kline told FOX13 he had taken her to doctor appointments and that she told him a different story about her husband.

He told the television station: "The story that - at least she was putting out - was her husband walked out on her."