Source AP ©

Woman whose husband is accused of faking his own death arrested in Britain

A woman whose husband is accused of faking his own death to get the insurance cover was arrested. Police hope she will shed light on where her husband has been for the last five years.

Anne Darwin was arrested on suspicion of fraud after her flight from Atlanta, Georgia , touched down at Manchester's airport Sunday.

Her husband John Darwin, 57, who turned up in London last weekend after he was declared officially dead in a 2002 canoe accident, was charged Saturday with fraud and acquiring a passport under a false name.

Detectives have said they hope to learn how Darwin allegedly hid himself for five years, if the couple maintained contact after his death and how they apparently came to be photographed together in Panama. His wife had been living in Panama in recent months, but left the Central American country Wednesday.

Last weekend, her husband walked into a London police station, claiming to have amnesia. He will appear in court Monday.

Police said Anne Darwin, 55, was undergoing a medical examination Sunday after being transferred to Cleveland , a region about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of London, where she would likely be questioned Monday in the investigation.

Two British newspapers, the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, claimed to have interviewed the woman repeatedly since her husband's appearance, quoting her as saying the couple had tens of thousands of pounds (dollars; euros) of debts.

The newspapers quoted her as saying, "John said there was only one way out of the situation, and that was to fake his death. I pleaded with him not to do it, I said it was the wrong thing to do."

According to the newspapers' account, Darwin's wife said she had not expected her husband to go through with the plan - and genuinely thought he was dead when he disappeared. But a year later, her husband came knocking at her door, she was quoted as saying.

The newspapers said she told them her husband pressured her to keep his reappearance a secret so he could have himself declared dead. That would allow her to collect 25,000 pounds (now worth approximately US$50,000) in life insurance and lift the burden of her mortgage, the newspapers said.

They quoted her as saying that after authorities officially declared him dead, her husband moved in with her and hid in a small room reached through a hole in the wardrobe, and that he hid in the house for three years.

According to the newspapers, she said the two moved to Panama this year and that her husband was tired of living in hiding and decided to return to Britain , claiming to have forgotten what had happened to him.

The Daily Mirror published a photograph of the couple, apparently taken with a real estate agent in Panama and published on the company's Web site.

Police said they are in contact with the couple's two sons, who insist they had no idea their father was still alive.

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