Countless numbers of people have lost their lives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Not all of these deaths, however, were actually from the disease itself. Just as many, if not more, died from the devastation that the pandemic has caused. This includes financially, physically, and mentally. This distraught husband stayed with his wife’s body in their tent for three days after she died. They were living there because of pandemic-induced job loss.
Man Living In Tent Stays With His Wife’s Body For Three Days Before Reporting It
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael Winter and his wife Angela, 56, had jobs and a place to call home in Burton, England. Like so many others during the pandemic, however, they both lost their jobs. No longer able to afford their home, they left most of their things behind and moved in with Michael’s family. (1)
Unfortunately, the two families had trouble co-existing. Quickly family disagreements meant that Michael and Angela could no longer stay there. They left on June first of last year and began living in a tent in and around the area. For food, they largely relied on food banks. The couple did try once to move back in with Michael’s family on June 20, however, the family said no. (2)
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Living In A Tent Lead To Tragedy
The couple continued to live in their tent, but it was not easy. Michael explained that often authorities or park officials asked them to leave the areas where they were camping. Of course, on top of all of this, living out of a tent is not easy. Sleeping on the hard ground every night takes its toll, especially the older you are. Eventually, all of this became too much.
On June 24, both Michael and Angela were struggling to sleep. Angela had apparently reached her limit of what she could handle and just couldn’t take another night in a tent. Michael said that she “exploded”, said that she couldn’t keep living like this, grabbed two bags, and sort of stormed off.
Michael explained to the police that he didn’t go after her at first because he thought that she would come back. A few days later, however, he decided he needed to go and find her. On June 29, he found his wife dead lying on top of her tent. He looked through her rucksack and discovered that all of her medications for her epilepsy, thyroid condition, and blood pressure were gone.
A Distraught Husband
Having already been through so much, this discovery nearly did Michael in. He wrapped her body in her tent because he was worried that kids playing in a nearby park would see her. He then sat with her body for the next few days, too distraught to eat or drink. Michael attempted suicide once by slashing his arms, but he was unsuccessful. After this attempt, he finally decided to go to the police station on July 2 where he reported her death.
A forensic entomologist estimated that Angela died between June 23 and June 26. There was already significant degradation happening by the time Michael reported the death, so they used Angela’s sister’s DNA to identify the body. The coroner’s verdict was that the death was the result of suicide via overdose. The three types of medication they found in her system can often lead to fatal toxicity.
“In her lungs we also found widespread pneumonia. This was possibly independent from the drugs but the drugs [taken] slow the heart rate and breath rate and poses a significant risk of pneumonia,” said Dr Alexander Kolar, who carried out the post-mortem. “It is far more likely that it became a more prolonged death associated with the drugs in her system.”
At first, the police arrested Michael on suspicion of murder but was shortly cleared of any wrongdoing. The post-mortem fit together with the pieces of Michael’s tragic story.
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- “Man living in tent with wife after they lost jobs stayed with her body for three days.” Wales Online. Helen Kreft, Neil Shaw. February 16, 2022.
- “Distraught husband stayed with wife’s dead body for three days in Burton wood.” Stadfforshire. Helen Kreft. February 16, 2022.