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Judge accepts plea deal in death of woman stuffed in a freezer in Marshfield, Mo. for 6 years

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 2:06 PM CST
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MARSHFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A man accused of stuffing his wife’s body in a freezer at a storage facility six years ago in Webster County pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Larry Dinwiddie appeared before a judge Monday afternoon in Marshfield. The state dropped a charge of abandoning a corpse as part of the plea. The state asked a judge for a prison sentence of 25 years.

Investigators found the body of Dinwiddie’s wife Cynthia in November 2019, locked in a freezer in an abandoned storage unit in Marshfield. The freezer was locked and running, and detectives say the body had been stuffed in there since 2015.

Deputies arrested Dinwiddie after a sting operation. Officers say they tricked Dinwiddie to return to the storage unit by asking him to fix the freezer that was not working. When Dinwiddie showed up with friends, officers then arrested him at the storage unit.

Detectives say this was a case of domestic abuse. Dinwiddie is accused of killing Cynthia with a hammer after an argument inside the home. Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole says there was never a missing person case filed for Cynthia.

“There were so many other options besides the one that Mr. Dinwiddie had chosen,” said Webster County Prosecutor Ben Berkstresser.

Throughout the course of their investigation detectives say they learned of a possible motive for the crime.

“The evidence and occurrence of severe abuse. It went the unusual way which was a female against a male in this case,” he said.

Berkstresser says the abuse was one of the reasons he considered negotiating a plea deal.

“What bothered me was that there were so many family and friends that knew about this circumstance,” he said.

However, he says, the pattern of physical abuse was never properly reported to police.

“I would encourage those, when we see abuse occurring, that we lend some of our strength to give them the opportunity to get out,” said Berkstresser.

Berkstresser says Dinwiddie will still be held accountable for his actions. He is asking the judge to sentence him to 25 years for second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

“This is a very tough case. I think I made the right decision for the state. I protect the state’s interest in keeping him in prison for a very long time,” said Berkstresser.

A judge set sentencing for January 25.

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