A pensioner has been charged with allegedly killing her husband of 30 years and burning his naked body on the back patio of their home.

Cops discovered the charred remains of Carmen Henderson, an 84-year-old former deputy sheriff, at an address in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania after Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson, 66, called 911.

She told the late-night emergency operator her spouse had set himself alight with a cigar.

But officers grew suspicious of Zigerelli-Henderson, an ex-local politician, after noticing that the body was in an advanced state of decomposition, indicating it had been there for some time.

She also kept changing her story as to what had happened, having initially claimed her husband had committed suicide.

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Carmen Henderson had been dead for a while before officers found his charred remains

In addition , the dispatcher who handled her earlier call described her as “hesitant to answer questions” and noted there being “something very off with her.”

Officers also noticed that there’d been a difference of four hours between when Zigerelli-Henderson said she’d heard her husband scream in pain and the time she decided to phone 911.

According to the report, the widow – who’s listed as the sole beneficiary of her husband’s £10k life insurance policy – “eventually settled” on a story in which, at around one o’clock in the morning, she’d seen him sitting in a fold-up camping chair.

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The couple’s home in in Susquehanna, Pennsylvannia

He was said to have been screaming because his lower trouser leg was on fire, reports The Mail.

Investigators also apparently discerned a financial motive for the incident, the couple having been in debt to the tune of roughly $40,000, an amount which Zigerelli-Henderson blamed on her love of lavish vacation homes, day spas, and other “self-indulgent activities.”

A failed limousine hire business, second mortgage and tax arrears also had to be factored in, all of which had threatened Zigerelli-Henderson with imminent homelessness.

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Her husband is said to have made plans for such an eventuality and was going to move in with his children from a former marriage.

However, Zigerelli-Henderson stated that she was not welcome to join him at the address.

She now faces charges of criminal homicide, aggravated arson, and arson resulting in danger of death or bodily injury due to the inconsistencies in her story.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 23.

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