In a disturbing case believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, a family in the port city of Hamilton admitted to leaving the dead body of a man for several months, believing their prayers would bring him back from the dead.
Kaling Wald, 50, confessed this week that she indeed left her husband Peter in an upstairs bedroom to rot for six months. She pleaded guilty to failing to notify concerned authorities that her husband had died from an illness that was not treated by a doctor.
Mr. Wald died sometime around March 20 last year after contracting a foot infection as a result of his diabetes. He reportedly refused to seek medical help, insisting “God would cure him.”
A few days later he fell into a coma due to the lack of proper medication. Subsequently, his stomach began to bloat and his forehead started to show signs of rigor mortis.
Upon noticing her husband had passed away, Mrs. Wald covered the body with two blankets and padlocked the bedroom door, sealing the door and vents with duct-tape.
The cadaver was found six months later. According to reports, it was so rotten that it had attracted rodents and couldn't be identified.
“We were trusting God . . . we thought, ‘OK, Lord, you know better,’ ” Kaling was quoted as saying.
Assistant Crown Attorney Janet Booy maintained the woman didn’t have a criminal intent and that it was her devotion to faith which “tainted and warped her better judgment.”
“It’s an extremely sad case … she truly believed her husband was going to be resurrected from the dead, even after six months,” Booy stated.
Mrs. Wald has received a suspended sentence of 18 months’ probation and has been ordered to seek counseling.
“This is not about your religious beliefs. It is about your safety, the safety of your children and the safety of the community at large,” Superior Court Justice Marjoh Agro told Mrs Wald.
“It was unusual, yes. It was certainly not normal,” Mrs. Wald told the press. “And we won’t do that again … laws exist and we know that now.”