Man accused in wife's murder, dismemberment pleads not guilty - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Man accused in wife's murder, dismemberment pleads not guilty

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VISTA (CNS) - The husband of a 73-year-old woman found dismembered in the couple's Oceanside home following months of odd behavior by both of them pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges.

Frederick Joseph Hengl, 68, was ordered held on $5 million bail for the alleged slaying and mutilation of his wife, Anna-Maria.

About 11:30 last Friday morning, officers responding to reports of an overpowering foul odor emanating from the couple's house in the 400 block of North Ditmar Street found the woman's remains. Police then located Frederick Hengl in downtown Oceanside, took him in for questioning and subsequently arrested him, police Lt. Leonard Mata said.

Neighbors told reporters they had not seen the suspect's wife in about a month and had heard what sounded like a power saw in use in the couple's home about two weeks ago.

County Adult Protective Services workers had been to the residence on one occasion, according to police.

Several people who live in the neighborhood said Anna-Maria Hengl had been behaving bizarrely since last spring, exposing herself, wandering around carrying a butcher knife and making religious pronouncements, telling people such things as, "God will smite you."

Her husband, meanwhile, had been going out dressed in women's clothing, makeup and jewelry, area residents told news crews.

One neighbor said the one-time Home Depot employee who had sold her a ceiling fan would sometimes wear blouses and makeup, including "hot pink" lipstick. Another said he saw Frederick Hengl last summer clad in a floor-length purple dress, pearl necklace and pearl earrings, carrying an ornate purse.

The suspect was being held without bail in county jail in Vista, pending Wednesday's arraignment hearing, when he will be asked how he pleads.

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