After Thomas Winn died in May, his wife Yvonne didn’t have enough money to buy a casket or give her husband a proper funeral. Neighbors are now using Fundrazr.com to raise money for the Apple Valley man’s burial.
By Carol Kuruvilla / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Yvonne Winn buried her husband in this backyard grave because she couldn’t afford a proper one. But it is against California law to bury a human body anywhere other than an approved cemetery.
Police discovered Thomas Winn’s body wrapped in two garbage bags and placed in a 4-to-5-foot deep hole behind his Apple Valley home on Thursday. Wife Yvonne Winn watched with tears in her eyes as authorities exhumed her husband’s body.
Thomas and Yvonne Winn moved into this Apple Valley, Calif., neighborhood earlier this year. Thomas Winn died in May and his cash-strapped wife buried him in the back yard.
For health and safety reasons, individuals in California are only allowed to bury human bodies in state-approved cemeteries. Yvonne has not been arrested, but investigators are currently determining her husband’s cause of death. The 63-year-old man’s body shows no sign of trauma and cops don’t suspect any foul play.
The couple moved into the neighborhood earlier this year. Wilson often spotted her working in the yard, so it wasn’t hard to believe that the 59-year-old managed to dig the grave all by herself.
Authorities are investigating whether Thomas Winn died of natural causes. His body was moved Thursday from the grave in Apple Valley, Calif., that his wife, Yvonne, had dug herself for financial reasons.
“She was out there almost every day painting and fixing up that house all by herself,” Wilson said. “She’s a really strong lady.”
Neighbors said Thomas had been ill for quite some time.
‘She’s a really nice lady,’ neighbor Colin Wilson said about Yvonne Winn, who buried her husband, Thomas, in her Apple Valley, Calif., back yard after he died in May. ‘She would always wave to me every morning.’
During a routine welfare check Wednesday, Yvonne told authorities that her husband had died in late May, then pointed out the spot where he was buried.
“When they pulled the body out, the smell was rancid,” a neighbor told NBC4.
Neighbors in Apple Valley, Calif., are holding an online fundraiser to help Yvonne Winn say a proper goodbye to her husband, Thomas, whom she buried in the back yard after he died in May.
Since houses in the neighborhood are surrounded by chain link fences, it is easy for people to look into each other’s yards.
“It’s really weird to think that she was able to do this and no one saw anything,” Wilson said.
Now that the secret is out, Wilson and his sister, Emily Wilson, have started a campaign on Fundrazr.com to give Thomas a proper burial. Launched June 20, the fundraiser has already raised close to $2,500 out of its $3,000 goal.
“I just feel terrible for her,” Wilson said. “I can’t imagine what she went through