Medical Examiner: Tooele Man Found In Freezer Died Of ‘Undetermined Causes’

Feb 19, 2020, 4:12 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 2:47 pm

TOOELE, Utah – The medical examiner was unable to determine the cause of death for a Tooele man whose body was found stored into in a freezer for over a decade.

The body of 69-year-old Paul Edward Mathers was found in November 2019 after his wife died of natural causes. Officials said Mathers died 10 years earlier.

According to the medical examiner’s report, 69-year-old Paul Edward Mathers died of “undetermined causes.”

He had end-of-stage bladder cancer, and in early 2009 was given only weeks or months to live.

The report stated that Mathers’ toxicology included “highly lethal levels” of several prescription narcotics.

Detectives found Mathers’ body wrapped in a garbage bag inside a Tooele freezer. They found an additional garbage bag wrapped over his head and tightly duct taped around his neck.

The report stated, “It is unclear whether this was secured before or after death, therefore, an asphyxial cause of death cannot be ruled out. Because a definitive cause of death cannot be determined, the manner of death also remains undetermined.”

Detectives found a typed letter on a wall in the apartment where Mathers’ body was found. The note reads:


I, Paul E. Mathers, a.k.a. Paula, being of a relatively sound mind and cancer ridden body make the following statement: I am fully aware that with my heart conditio the Lortabs/Hydrocodine will eventually stop my heart. It will not be deliberate as I am not ready to leave my wife, Jeanne Marie. Jeanne has foiled my actual suicide attempts.

I want it known that Jeanne is in NO way responsible for my death. Although that will be what my drama queen mother will claim. My mother, Zada Lamb, can get on with her life with-out having to acknowledge that I her first born am a T.G.

Paul E. Mathers, aka Paula E. Mathers.”

Detectives also narrowed down the timeline for Mathers’ death between March 2 and 5, 2009.

Investigators said Mathers’ sister reported having communication with him on the phone March 2, 2009. She then went to visit his home on March 5, 2009 when his wife, Jeanne Souron-Mathers, said that he had moved to California.

On November 22, 2019, patrol officers responded to a welfare check call on a 75-year-old female. Examiners ruled 75-year-old Jeanne Souron-Mathers’ death as “natural.”

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Medical Examiner: Tooele Man Found In Freezer Died Of ‘Undetermined Causes’