The first day of testimony in the John Heath murder trail started with some scene setting, the discovery in 2010 of the decomposed and carefully hidden body of Mary E. Heath, missing since April 1984.
Jordan Wright, who owned property at 89 Poverty Hollow Road in Newtown in 2010, told the courtroom at Danbury Superior Court Thursday he and his father Kenneth Wright discovery a human bone on April 14, 2010. He alerted the Newown Police Department. That led police to a decomposed body hidden under the floor in a barn on the property.
John Heath and Mary Heath previously owned that property and barn. Mary Heath was reported missing by John Heath on April 6, 1984, and within a couple of weeks of it being exactly 26 years later, her body was found.
The Newtown Police Department and the Connecticut State Police investigated the newly discovered body since 2010, and the Newtown Police Department filed an arrest warrant application for John Heath, on April 30, 2012. The trial started Thursday.
When he reported his wife missing, Heath said, "My wive had had many personal problems since we've been married. She has been seeking private treatment for her emotional problems, I feel my wife has left voluntarily, but I would like to locate her as she has serious emotional problems," police reported in the arrest warrant application. He told police they went to sleep one night and she disappeared after taking $600 from the house, but leaving her daughter, purse and clothing.
At the April 15, 2010 autopsy, Dr. Wayne Carver of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiners, said Mary Heath's left forearm was broken in a way consistent with an assault. She was wearing clothing consistent with having died while going to sleep, the warrant application said. She was wrapped in bedding and stuffed head first in a shallow hole in the barn.
The Newtown Judge of Probate, Honorable Margot S. Hall, ruled on May 31, 1991 that Mary Heath could be presumed dead.