Police suspect that the man who had concealed his dead wife’s body in their St Paul’s Bay apartment for three months could have done so to keep on pocketing her pension.
“A few months before her death, Janet Harvey had authorised her husband Russell to use her bank card to do her shopping on her behalf and he kept on using her card after she died,” sources close to the investigation told Lovin Malta. “There is evidence that he used her bank card to spend her pension after her death.”
Police found the body of Janet Harvey, 69, in her bedroom on 18th February, around three months after she had died.
She had succumbed to cancer in the months preceding her death and had to amputate one of her feet, and forensic tests reveal she had died of natural causes.
Her death was never reported but police found her body after her relative filed a complaint with the British High Commission. Her husband Russell Harvey was apprehended at a nearby pub and he has been kept in Mount Carmel since.
There were initial suggestions that Russell Harvey could have kept his wife’s body at home because he couldn’t come to terms with her death, but police do not believe this to be the case.
The body was found in Triq San Luqa, St Paul’s Bay. Photo: Google Maps
“Towards the end of her life and after her death, he would leave home in the morning or early afternoon and spend the day drinking at a nearby pub,” he said. “Friends would keep asking how Janet is and he’d keep responding that she was fine but didn’t want to leave the house or that she was taken to hospital for a few days.”
“He let himself go too. He would smell and was no longer clean-shaven, and some friends suspected that something was up.”
Moreover, the source noted that Russell and Janet Harvey used to sleep in separate bedrooms, at least since she was first hospitalised.
“It’s not as though he used to sleep next to her as part of the grieving process.”
Besides Janet Harvey’s corpse, the apartment in Triq San Luqa was an absolute mess. A dead dog was found under Janet Harvey’s bed, a dog and some cats were found alive, and the floor was littered with excrement, cigarette butts and cigarette packets.
Police are now investigating whether Russell Harvey used to spend the majority of his nights at home or not. Current investigations have confirmed he had spent some nights at St Paul’s Bay hotels, but this accounts for less than one third of the three months since his wife’s death.
Police intend to charge Harvey, with potential charges including fraud, animal abuse and hiding a corpse, the latter being a contravention as per Maltese law.