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Cross-dresser accused of cooking wife in Calif. kitchen

Editor’s note: This story contains graphic details. 

A man known to stroll his California neighborhood dressed as a woman has been accused of cooking the flesh and bones of his 73-year-old murdered wife.

According to police in Oceanside, north of San Diego, Anna Faris was found dead in her home at 11:10 a.m. Friday after neighbors reported a foul odor coming from the residence.

When officers went inside the home, they said they found the dismembered remains of the deceased woman cooking in pans in the couple's kitchen.

The heat was still on when authorities gained entrance to the residence, according to a complaint read by Katherine Flaherty, deputy district attorney with the County of San Diego.

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Investigators also found Faris' head in the freezer and a workbench used for the mutilation in the bathroom. Near the workbench was a saw, a boning knife, other cutting instruments and pieces of bone in a plastic bag.

Flaherty said there was no evidence of cannibalism.

Detectives said they located the woman’s husband, 68-year-old Frederick Hengl, in downtown Oceanside Friday. He voluntarily went with officers for questioning.

“After a brief conversation, police realized he was in the process of dismembering his wife’s body,” Flaherty said.

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Prosecutors believe Hengl killed his wife on or between Nov. 1 and 16.

In court on Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty to three charges filed against him, including first-degree murder and committing an unlawful act with human remains. His bail was set at $5 million.

Police said they’re familiar with the couple, but hadn’t been to the residence recently on calls of domestic violence.

However neighbors told NBC 7 on Friday that the couple was known for some unusual tendencies.

“The husband is actually known for dressing up like a woman and walking around the neighborhood. It's just a permanent fixture, I guess. It doesn't freak us out anymore,” said resident Jason Chandler. “[The wife] stands out here with a knife and she takes her clothes off out here on the corner.”

“She always carried around a knife. Just really weird; hostile,” recalled neighbor Eric Chavez.