Man found buried in wife's Lake Alfred herb garden

Updated:

LAKE ALFRED, Fla. - Investigators are waiting on autopsy results Wednesday to see what killed a man whose body was buried in his wife's herb garden in Polk County.

Detectives believe 77-year-old Benny Scott had been buried in the back yard of his Lake Alfred home for almost three months. They dug up the body on Tuesday from a grave 3 to 4 feet deep.

Investigators said it appears no one knew he was even dead because his wife, Barbara, kept it a secret.

"All she's telling us at this point is that he died and she took him to the back yard and buried him," said Capt. Jim Elensky, of the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said no one questioned Scott's death until Monday night.

"Her daughter actually started to becoming very suspicious. The story started to get twisted, so her daughter confronted her about this last night," said Elensky.

Barbara Scott served time for embezzlement in 1988 in Oklahoma. She and her husband lived there before moving to their home in Lake Alfred.

William Bearden lives next door, and said he never suspected a thing.

"We were asking where he was at and she said he went back up there (Oklahoma) to be with his friends," said Bearden.

He said Barbara was nice, and even brought over homemade caramel corn last weekend.

"I'm still having a hard time believing it's all happening," said Bearden.

Deputies said the information was exposed when Barbara's daughter, who lives across the street, demanded answers.

Scott's daughter said in January her 64-year-old mother started telling people different stories about where Benny Scott was and why they couldn't contact them.

Barbara's daughter brought her to Lake Alfred police headquarters Monday to tell officers the story.

"Her daughter actually started to become very suspicious. The story started to get twisted so her daughter confronted her about this last night," said Elensky.

Detectives said Barbara confessed that her husband died and she buried him, but she hasn't said what killed him.

So far, she hasn't been charged in connection with his death.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood said the cause of death wasn't immediately apparent. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.