June 21, 2022
Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson, a Susquehanna Township woman who has unsuccessfully run for several elected offices in Pennsylvania, allegedly killed her husband and burned his body on their back patio last week, Dauphin County prosecutors said.
Zigerelli-Henderson, 66, initially told investigators that her husband, Carmen Henderson, had died by suicide, but authorities suspected foul play after examining the scene and noting inconsistencies in statements she allegedly made to police.
Zigerelli-Henderson was charged Thursday with criminal homicide, aggravated arson and related offenses, according to court documents. Carmen Henderson, 84, was a former chief deputy sheriff in Dauphin County who had retired in 1995.
In the 1980s, Zigerelli-Henderson was a court clerk in Beaver County and later worked at the state auditor general's office. She went on to make an unsuccessful Democratic run for clerk of courts in Dauphin County in 2011 and lost a bid for the Susquehanna Township School Board in 2014. The next year, she ran for sheriff as a Republican and lost again, PennLive reported.
Before dawn on Thursday, Zigerelli-Henderson called 911 to report the death of her husband at their home on the 300 block of Stuart Place, police said. She allegedly told the dispatcher that Carmen had burned himself.
In court documents, investigators said the dispatcher noticed "something is very off with the caller," CBS21 reported.
Zigerelli-Henderson allegedly told police that she had heard her husband's screams hours earlier, but didn't immediately call for help.
She allegedly told the dispatcher that she found her husband dead and believed he killed himself by burning himself. https://t.co/Y3aJyM6nId— WPXI (@WPXI) June 21, 2022
Henderson's body showed signs that he had been dead for longer than Zigerelli-Henderson had implied, police said.
After first claiming that her husband took his own life, Zigerelli-Henderson allegedly told investigators that he had caught fire accidentally after lighting a cigar. A fire investigation team determined this explanation didn't match the evidence at the scene, according to court documents.
The couple had been married for 30 years. They owned a limousine business in Harrisburg and were in debt following its closure, investigators said. Zigerelli-Henderson allegedly told authorities that she spent their savings on vacation properties, spa trips and other personal expenses. The couple was $40,000 in debt and owed back taxes. Their home was going to be seized by the county Sheriff's Office, authorities said.
Zigerelli-Henderson also allegedly told investigators that her husband had a $10,000 life insurance policy.
Authorities have not yet released an official cause of Henderson's death.
Zigerelli-Henderson is being held at the Dauphin County Prison and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday morning.