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Foul smell leads police to dismembered woman in Southern California

A Southern California man has been arrested in connection with the grisly murder of his 74-year-old wife, authorities confirmed Friday night.

Police found the woman, who had been dismembered, inside the couple's Oceanside, Calif. home at 11:10 p.m. on Friday. The smell coming from the house was so foul that officers had to wear masks while investigating the home. 

Detectives located the woman’s 68-year-old husband in downtown Oceanside. He voluntarily went with them for questioning. After interviewing the man, police arrested him on suspicion of his wife’s murder.

Read the original report at NBC San Diego

Police say they know the couple but that they have not been called to the house for domestic violence-related incidents, Oceanside Police Sgt. Matt Christensen said. 

Neighbors told NBC San Diego that the husband and wife formed an odd pair.

“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,” neighbor Jason Chandler said.

The murdered wife, Chandler said, “stands out here with a knife and she takes her clothes off out here on the corner.”

Neighbors grew suspicious that something was amiss with the pair when the foul odor coming from the house grew increasingly persistent. Police believe that the deceased woman may have been in the house for weeks.

Neighbor Eric Chavez told NBC News that he noticed the smell about a week and a half ago. He said police had asked neighbors if they heard sounds of “heavy machinery” coming from the home.

“They did ask me about heavy machinery – if I heard anybody using any in the past week or so. I hadn’t heard a single thing,” Chavez said.

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