A 72-year-old Michigan woman kept the body of her dead companion bathed, dressed and sitting up for a year and a half after his death because she didn't want to be alone, according to M Live, a Michigan news and information blog. Linda Chase said that she knows what she did may seem morbid, but that she kept the body of her friend Charles "Charlie" Zigler, who is believed to have died of natural causes around Christmas of 2010, so that she would have someone with whom to talk and watch NASCAR races on TV.
“It’s not that I’m heartless," she said, "I didn’t want to be alone. He was the only guy who was ever nice to me."
Jackson, Michigan police found Zigler's body sitting up in a living room chair, mummified. Chase said that there was never a bad smell from the cadaver, and that contrary to what neighbors and some media outlets are reporting, she and Zigler were merely friends, not a romantic couple.
"If you had to know Charlie, he had the best sense of humor in this whole world," Chase told M Live. She liked to buy him western shirts and would bake him a birthday cake each year.
The two would often go on fishing trips together and watch NASCAR races, she said. They shared a home for more than ten years. "We just had so much fun together," she said.
Zigler's family members became concerned when they did not hear from him for an extended period of time, finally contacting police, who entered the home on Friday and found the body.
Chase has not been arrested but is under investigation for financial fraud. Zigler's 48-year-old son said that his father received checks from Social Security, the Veterans' Administration and a pension fund. Chase continued to cash the checks, just as she had when he was alive.
She said that she knows people will think it strange that she kept Zigler's body for so long, and that she doesn't entirely understand why she did what she did. She told a reporter from TV station WLNS, Channel 6 that at 72, she feels that she's lost too many people in her life.
"I know this is horrible, but after awhile, you get..." she said, tears welling up in her eyes, "I don't know what you call it, I don't know."
Watch video about this story, embedded via WLNS, below: