Last Saturday, a British woman suspected of having buried her husband on a plot of land surrounding their home in Guarda, central Portugal, was instructed by a court to regularly check-in at a local police station, but will otherwise await trial in freedom.
The 46-year-old Scottish woman named by national broadcaster SIC as Louise Khan was arrested on Thursday by PJ police after the man’s body was exhumed by officers on the land.
The man is believed to have suffered from a terminal cancer.
Police are investigating to establish whether the woman had a hand in his death, or simply concealed the body. She will be tried on 27 February.
The man’s body was found last Thursday morning, 9 February, buried on land surrounding a rural wooden cabin-style property situated between Figueiró da Serra and Linhares da Beira, inhabited by a Scottish ex-pat couple resident in
The man’s widow was detained by PJ police on suspicion of hiding a body. An investigation is ongoing to establish whether or not she had any involvement in his death.
On Saturday, she was brought before a judge at a court in Guarda in a summary hearing where initial measures were decreed.
A source close to the case told The Portugal News that the man suffered from a serious cancer and travelled back to Scotland regularly for treatment.
An autopsy carried out last Friday showed no signs of violence but toxicology exams were still to be carried out.
The couple are said to have lived at the isolated Quinta for three years, since it was purchased by the woman, who is also believed to be Scottish and a piano teacher, and were not particularly integrated in the local
The source said the man died around September last year but that his family were not informed of his death and the alarm was raised by the local community who grew suspicious of his absence and of his partner’s reaction when asked about his whereabouts.
Early indications suggest that the man died from his illness.
In a statement ,PJ police confirmed they have arrested a 46-year-old woman “for the presumed practice of, at least, one crime of corpse desecration.”
The body, the PJ elaborated, “is believed to be that of a 59-year-old Scotsman, found and exhumed late yesterday [Thursday] afternoon by members of the PJ police and the Scientific Laboratory Police.
“We hereby conclude one phase of the investigation, launched with the news of the disappearance of the victim, and now seek to determine the causes of death.”
The British Embassy in Lisbon said so far it has “not been contacted in connection with this case.”