Novato Murder Mystery No Longer a Murder - NBC Bay Area

Novato Murder Mystery No Longer a Murder

A decomposing body is found in a woman's backyard.



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    When a body was discovered in the backyard of a home in Novato home in February the Bay Area had a murder mystery on its hands.

    Now, seven months later, the case is still a mystery, but according to the Marin County D.A. it wasn't murder.

    Dale Smith, 74, had not been reported missing by his wife Evelyn when investigators found his body underneath a newly built barbeque pit in their backyard. A neighbor is the one who alerted police that Dale had not been seen for awhile.

    When first asked about her husband's whereabouts, Evelyn Smith reportedly told police he was visiting family. When that was proven false, she hired a lawyer who basically told investigators where to find the body in a fax that gave police permission to search the property. 

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    Evelyn Smith was named as a person of interest in the case all along.  An autopsy could not determine a cause of death.

    Over the past months investigators said the case could be anything from a homicide to improper disposal of human remains.

    Her attorney Hugh Levine said no one will be charged in the case. "Evelyn Smith still lives in the Bay Area and is continuing on with her life," Levine added.

    He told the Chronicle: that his client "has been under the microscope for many months now, and I think it would be - without trying to be flippant about it - just good to bury this whole episode."