GRISLY FIND: 70-Something Westwood Woman Was Dead At Least A Week, Responders Say

UPDATE: The 76-year-old brother of a Westwood woman whose body was found at least a week after she died was arrested on related charges.

Mark Winter and the late Joan Winter (inset), both of Westwood.
Mark Winter and the late Joan Winter (inset), both of Westwood. Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: BCJ / INSET: Contributed

Joan Winter, 70, formerly of Yonkers and Hartsdale, NY, and her brother Mark, 76, had lived together for several years in what had been their late mother's Kennedy Terrace home on a quiet cul-de-sac near Washington Avenue, those who knew them said.

Two friends who’d gone to the house looking for Joan said Mark told them she’d gone, a source with direct knowledge of the discovery said.

Westwood police went to the home to conduct a welfare check around 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, and were met at the front door by Mark Winter, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.

He "allowed them to enter the home," where they found his sister's remains, the prosecutor said.

Winter -- who the friends said has Alzheimer's disease -- then "became confrontational with the officers and subsequently assaulted them," Musella said.

He was taken into custody and charged with desecrating human remains, along with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, before being sent to the Bergen County Jail.

Detectives subsequently determined that Winter had "concealed his sister’s remains for a prolonged period of time in the residence," Musella said.

Although the prosecutor didn't put a time period on it, responders said Joan Winter's remains had likely been there at least a week.

The Bergen County Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy that will be complete when the results of toxicology tests are received.

Musella noted, however, that authorities suspect Joan Winter died of natural causes and not from any crime.

Her brother, meanwhile, remained held Tuesday in the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

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