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Macabre BBQ Story, Body Found under BBQ Pit…

A body found underneath a barbecue pit built by a Novato, California woman at least six months ago is that of her husband, authorities said Thursday.

Dale Smith, 74, was found buried at least 4 feet underneath the patio of the home he shared with his wife, Evelyn Smith, 55, investigators said. The cause of his death has not been determined pending toxicology tests by the Marin County coroner, said police Lt. John McCarthy.

Evelyn Smith is a “person of interest” in the case, which could be anything from a homicide to improper disposal of human remains, McCarthy said.

“I don’t think we’ve ruled out anything,” McCarthy said. “We’ll go in any direction the evidence takes us.”

The body was discovered Feb. 23 by an FBI evidence response team that had been given permission to dig by Evelyn Smith’s attorneys.

Neighbors had not seen Dale Smith since at least September. It was around that time that his wife and two laborers put in a brick barbecue pit in the backyard of the home on Rebecca Way, neighbors said.

Evelyn Smith never reported her husband missing. A neighbor finally called police last month.

An attorney for Evelyn Smith, Hugh Levine, said Dale Smith was ill and that it was possible he died of natural causes.

“I’m not surprised,” Levine said when told the body was that of Smith. “I wasn’t expecting Jimmy Hoffa or Amelia Earhart.”

Dale Smith was a Korean War veteran and retired contractor. His wife used to work for the U.S. Postal Service. The couple were married 18 years and did not have any children together.

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