The wife of a man whose deceased body was kept in the family home for months after his death is now facing criminal charges.
Kaling Wald, 50, was arrested Thursday and charged with neglect of duty regarding a dead body and indignity to a body. She was released later in the day on a promise to appear in court.
The body of her husband, Peter Wald, 51, was found by an employee from a foreclosure company when trying to evict Wald and his family from their St. Matthews Avenue home on Sept. 17.
“It all has to do with the responsibilities of dealing with a dead body,” said Det. Sgt. Steve Hrab of the Hamilton Police Service. “You are required to contact the authorities, the coroner, if someone passes away in their home. There are laws to the effect on how we deal with dead bodies.”
Regional coroner Dr. Jack Stanborough told CBC Hamilton in September that Wald’s body was in an “advanced state of decomposition” when it was discovered.
“Evidence suggests he’d been dead for weeks, if not months,” Stanborough said.
Next-door neighbour Brenda Dennis believes Wald had been deceased for at least four months before his body was found.
She told CBC Hamilton that odd behaviour around the home started around that time. Hordes of flies could be seen around a second-floor window and birds were pecking at the screen. And Peter Wald was not seen outside around his prized blue Astro van, painted with religious words and symbols.
Family members also started dancing and chanting while wearing black robes in the back yard, sometimes twice a day, said Dennis’s husband, Brian.
The six Wald children also lived in the home during the time their father's body was there.
Kaling Wald was arrested at the Niagara Region home where the family moved after the body was discovered in September, Hrab said.
She is scheduled to appear in Hamilton court on Feb. 13.