Couple Moving Into New Home Find Body in Freezer

Alabama couple charged with abusing teen son's corpse, discovered in broken freezer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2023 12:46 PM CDT
Cops Failed to Find the Body. Weeks Later, Tenants Did
Michael Shane Halstead, left, and Karen Tysinger Halstead.   (Henry County Sheriff's Office)

Alabama tenants preparing to move into a new home Sunday discovered a dead body in a freezer, which had been reported to police nearly three weeks earlier. The remains have not been officially identified but are believed to be those of 19-year-old Logan Michael Halstead, a man with spina bifida who was thought to have moved out of the area with his family in September. The man's father, 44-year-old Michael Halstead, had called police on Oct. 11, claiming he'd hurt his son, whose body could be found in a freezer at the Headland property, reports USA Today. "When we responded to the scene, nobody had lived there for several weeks," said Headland Police Chief Mark Jones. He said officers looked inside the broken freezer but found only papers.

While at the property Sunday, the new tenants "were cleaning up to get ready to move in" when "they tried to move the freezer and smelled an odor," Jones told USA Today. They then spotted a hand inside the unit, per Notified by the tenants, officers arrived before noon and found the body in a freezer in the backyard, according to the Henry County Sheriff's Office. The severely decomposed remains had been wrapped in blankets and tarps and placed in a cardboard box, per WTVY, which suggests Headland police "botched" the investigation. Sheriff Eric Blankenship said the body had been in the freezer since late August, per WDHN. Logan Halstead might have died as early as August, per An autopsy is pending.

On the same day he told police where to find his son's body, Michael Halstead was arrested by Dothan police for failure to appear in court to answer domestic violence charges and spent the next 10 days in custody, per WTVY. After Sunday's discovery, he and his wife, 43-year-old Karen Halstead, were found in the city of Jack and transported to Headland for questioning. They're now charged with abuse of a corpse, though Michael Halstead claimed his wife wasn't involved in disposing of their son's remains at a Monday court hearing, where each had bail set at $175,000, per WTVY. "By no means is the investigation over with," Blankenship said, adding that the couple could face murder charges depending on the results of the autopsy. (More dead body stories.)

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