Woman charged with killing estranged husband, hiding body

Regional News

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A woman is charged in the death of her estranged husband, whose body was found wrapped in plastic near the front porch of their Pittsburgh duplex last year, authorities said.

Janet Winbush, 50, is charged in Allegheny County with criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse in the death of 53-year-old Deric Davis.

Pittsburgh police said the victim had been reported missing, with relatives saying they hadn’t seen him for two weeks. Police went to their home three days before Christmas and, while waiting for someone to answer the door, noticed a mound covered with a deflated air mattress near the front steps, according to a criminal complaint.

Authorities said the smell of a decaying body prompted them to look under the mattress, where they found the victim’s body stuffed in garbage bags wrapped with duct tape. The county medical examiner’s office said he had a stab wound.

According to court documents, Winbush told investigators that she stabbed Davis in self-defense after wrestling a knife away from him during a violent argument. They said she described everything that happened after that as “a blur” and she had no idea how he ended up outside.

Authorities allege that she tried to cover up her involvement in the death by calling area hospitals to aid in the search. Police said they examined her phone and found photos of text messages on the victim’s phone in which he indirectly acknowledged “infidelity or interest in infidelity,” according to the criminal complaint.

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A family member reported finding blank divorce papers among the victim’s personal effects and a friend of his told police that Davis indicated to him in November that he was contemplating divorce, according to the criminal complaint.

Winbush remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing; court documents don’t list a defense attorney.

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