Pennsylvania Woman Charged with Killing, Burning Husband After Inconsistencies In Her Story: Police

66-year-old Evelyn Henderson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has been charged with criminal homicide, aggravated arson, and arson resulting in danger of death or bodily injury following the death of her 84-year-old husband.

Last week, Henderson called 911 around 5:30 in the morning, claiming her husband of nearly 30 years died after setting himself on fire. Over time, however, her story began to change and physical evidence on the scene was inconsistent with her version of events, according to a criminal complaint.

Initially, she told dispatchers her husband Carmen Henderson had committed suicide by lighting himself on fire. In her first account, Evelyn said she heard her husband “yell” at around 1am, but “he was already burnt” and she didn’t call police at the time, the complaint states. The police dispatcher noted that Henderson “was hesitant to answer questions” and felt something was “off” about the situation.

When police arrived on the scene, Carmen — a former chief deputy sheriff in Dauphin County — appeared to be naked and covered in burns on the rear patio of their home. Fly larva was also found in his nose and mouth, suggesting his death was not recent.

As her story began to change, per the complaint, Evelyn suggested the fire was started by her husband smoking a cigar — which the Dauphin County Fire Investigation Team said was “improbable.” She “eventually settled” on a timeline, authorities say, in which she saw her husband sitting in a chair with his pants on fire around 3pm the previous day. Though she said he called to her for help, she decided against calling 911, per the court docs, but couldn’t explain why she made that decision.

At this point, it’s unclear when Carmen Henderson was set on fire or whether he was alive when it happened.

The Susquehanna Township Police Department conducted a “thorough investigation” and “revealed that foul play was apparent,” revealing that the Hendersons were in some major debt.

Evelyn reportedly admitted to spending their money on vacation homes and day spas and their company, Henderson Limousine Service, had gone out of business.

According to the criminal complaint, per WGAL, “E. Henderson stated that she knew she would be homeless shortly” because the sheriff’s office was going to seize their property — on which they owed $40,000 on a second mortgage and back taxes. She said that while Carmen would be able to live with his children from a previous relationship, she “was not welcome.” She also said she had a $10,000 life insurance policy on her husband.

She’s currently being held without bail.

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