NEWS

Kaling Wald lived with husband's corpse believing he would be resurrected

12/02/2014 08:39 EST | Updated 02/01/2015 05:59 EST
A woman pleaded guilty in Hamilton court, and received a suspended sentence and an order to get counselling, after her husband's body was left rotting in a bedroom of their home because his family thought he would rise from the dead.

​Kaling Wald was also given probation of 18 months when she appeared in court Monday on Coroner’s Act charges of failing to notify police or the coroner that Peter Wald had died from an illness that wasn’t being treated. 

The macabre case came to light back in January, when the woman was arrested and charged with neglect of duty regarding a dead body and indignity to a body. 

The two charges were withdrawn and replaced with the single charge under the Coroner's Act.

A foreclosure company employee found the 51-year-old’s body while trying to evict Wald and his family from their St. Matthews Avenue home in the city’s north end last year.

Regional coroner Dr. Jack Stanborough told CBC news in a previous interview that Wald’s body was in an “advanced state of decomposition” when it was discovered in an upstairs bedroom.

“Evidence suggests he’d been dead for weeks, if not months,” Stanborough said.

'He's in God's hands now'

Wald died around March 20, 2013, according to an agreed statement of facts. He had diabetes and was suffering from a foot infection. Neighbours in the area told CBC News that Wald had been seen hobbling for some time before he stopped being seen in public.

When neighbours asked his wife about him, all she would say was he “was in God’s hands now.” Wald refused to go to hospital, court heard Monday, because he believed God would help him.

Neighbours described Wald as a deeply religious but kind man. He could be seen driving through Hamilton in a blue Astro van adorned with religious symbols and sayings. He could also be seen wearing clothing with religious-themed writing on it.

Both lawyers in the case agreed that Kaling Wald had no ill intent, according to the Hamilton Spectator.

"We were trusting God … we thought, 'OK Lord, you know better,'" Wald told the Spectator.

After Wald died, his wife sealed off the room so the smell of the body wouldn’t permeate through the rest of the house, where she was still living with her six children.

No criminal activity or public health concerns: coroner

Wald’s body sat in the room until September, when the sheriff came to evict them from the home after they defaulted on the mortgage.

Health officials and police were called in, but the body had decomposed to the point that it was impossible to confirm a cause of death.

Stanborough said the body was in an “advanced state of decomposition.”

According to a pathologist’s report, Wald died “likely from natural causes.”

“There was nothing in the examination that would suggest criminal activity or public health concerns," Stanborough said in a previous interview.

The Children’s Aid Society was previously called in, but found no concerns for the children's well-being and the case was closed, the Spectator reported.

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