A 7-year-old Missouri girl told her school counselor she found a dead body wearing her mother's clothes at home, but was too scared to tell her father.
The child found the corpse in the basement of her house, but didn't tell her father, Benjamin Byers, because she "didn't want to be next," reports theBluefield Daily Telegraph.
She says she remembers seeing "lots of blood" and a body with a "stab on the back" and grew suspicious of her father, who had been drinking and acting "weird." Before she found the body, he had also ordered her stay out of the basement.
Police investigations revealed the body belonged to the child's mother, 47-year-old Melissa Byers, WDAF reports. Officers found blood throughout the home and signs Benjamin may have attempted to clean up after the alleged murder.
Authorities then arrested Benjamin, 45, and charged him with "second-degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse and child endangerment in the death of his wife." He is now being held on $500,000 bail.
Both Benjamin and Melissa have criminal records.
Since January, he has been on probation after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated as a persistent offender and serving 30 days in jail.
Melissa was also imprisoned in Missouri from March 2014 to September 2016 after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance and forgery.
The news comes after police charged an Ohio wife with killing her husband in June and then living with his dismembered body parts in her home for five months, reports the New York Daily News.
Police arrested Marcia Eubank, 49, after their son had discovered maggots and smelled an odor on Dec. 9. When he texted his mother asking what was inside the plastic containers, she confessed to killing his father, reports WEWS.
He quickly contacted the authorities.
"I just found out my mom killed my dad and I found the pieces of his body in the house," he told police on the phone.
The son later told police his mother had lied to him in June and said that his father had suddenly moved to Texas.
Upon investigating, police found the dismembered remains of her 54-year-old husband, Howard Eubank.
Marcia confessed to shooting her husband on June 13 before dismembering his body using an electrical saw and other tools.
"This was a very gruesome scene," Sheriff Steve Barry recalls. "Very disturbing."
Sources: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, WDAF, New York Daily News, WEWS / Featured Image: Maarten Van Damme/Flickr / Embedded Images: Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons, Carter Cutlery via Murray M. Carter/Wikimedia Commons