A Russian woman kept the dead body of her husband in her apartment for three years, ordering her children to feed and talk to him in the hopes he would be resurrected, investigators said Monday.
The deceased man, a missionary for a Pentecostal church, had lived with his wife and five children in a village in the Yaroslavl region in central Russia until he died in 2009, regional investigators said.
"For three years, between August 14, 2009 and July 2, 2012, the corpse was lying in bed in a room in the apartment," investigators said in a statement outlining the results of the probe.
The woman, who authorities said was mentally unstable, home-schooled her children and ordered them not to tell anyone about their father's death, the statement said.
"All this time the widow continued to live in the apartment with her small children, whom she asked every day to go into the room where her husband's body lay, 'talk' to their father, (and) 'feed' him with a broth she made," investigators said.
She herself avoided going into the room, fearing she would prevent his resurrection.
"The children, who were worried for their mother and realised their father was dead, would tell her that he talked to them and ate the food," the statement added.
They also used air fresheners to cover the smell of the decomposing body.
When the family decided to move to a different town, two of the children, girls aged 14 and nine, decided to get rid of the body, putting it in plastic bags and dumping it in the bushes.
When the head and right hand broke off the corpse, the children threw them separately into a garbage bin.
The authorities launched a probe upon being notified of the macabre find. They announced Monday they had dropped the investigation.
The mother did not present a danger to herself or others, investigators said, while her children underwent a psychological examination which showed they were mentally healthy.