A Benton County man told detectives that after his girlfriend perished, he chopped off her legs with a chainsaw and stuffed her body into garbage bags.
On July 3, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to an Ambia residence after a lady stated that a man residing there, Edward Bagwell, 60, informed her his girlfriend’s body was in garbage bags at his house.
According to court records, when deputies arrived at the residence, Bagwell “immediately asked if he was going to prison” before confessing to dismembering the body of his girlfriend Rita Spigner.
Deputies investigated the house and discovered two huge trash bags. A deputy who touched the bags’ outside said it felt like a human corpse.
Detectives from the Indiana State Police were brought in to assist with the investigation, and Bagwell was interrogated at the Benton County Jail.
Detectives were told by the suspect that Spigner had lived with him at his house on Oak Street for the last eight years.
Bagwell stated that he and Spigner took an eight-ball of meth on June 18. According to court filings, he first told officers that he had never used meth before and was still high during the July 4 interrogation.
Bagwell stated that after they used meth, Spigner began clawing at his legs, so he smacked her “with an open hand” to urge her to stop.
According to Bagwell, the woman collapsed and began convulsing. He claims he went to fetch his cellphone on the other side of the room and returned to find Spigner not breathing. Bagwell did not contact 911 because the woman, according to him, had already died. He believed they would be unable to assist her.
Instead, using an electric chainsaw, Bagwell severed Spigner’s legs and placed her body in one garbage bag and her legs in another.
When a nurse at the jail examined Bagwell’s legs, she claimed the scratches appeared to have been done in the last few days and were too shallow to have been made with fingernails.
Detectives questioned Bagwell again, and he stated he couldn’t recall how he received the cuts on his legs. He also acknowledged to doing meth previously, but just 2 to 3 times, according to him.
Spigner’s autopsy revealed that she had major cardiac problems. The reason and manner of her death are yet unknown pending toxicology reports.
Bagwell is now solely charged with mistreatment of a corpse and failing to report.