The only contact his kids had after that was the occasional text message.
Howard also periodically posted online saying he’d moved away and got a new job as a truck driver.
I will reach out to people when I’m ready to, he wrote.
Howard’s eldest son, Howard Jr, sometimes stayed with his dad and Marcia but when he turned up at the house six months later he’d forgotten his key.
Climbing in through Marcia’s office window, Howard Jr was hit by an overwhelming stench coming from a box in the room.
Opening it, Howard Jr found it was writhing with flies and maggots.
Alarmed, he sent a photo of the box to his stepmum.
It’s part of your father’s body, she replied. The other parts are in the basement. Call the police and tell them I killed Dad.
‘I just found out my mum killed my dad and I found the pieces of his body in my house,’ a panicked Howard Jr told the operator.
After she was arrested, the accused said she shot Howard on impulse when he’d become abusive, but this was disputed when officers discovered she’d been researching murder online for months and a few days before the killing had bought a gun.
She had written all the text messages and online posts and had even gone to a job interview a few hours after she’d killed her husband.
In December 2018, Marcia Eubank, 50, pleaded guilty to murder.
She was sentenced to life in prison.
‘We all thought it was odd and strange that he would just up and leave,’ Jonathon said, ‘but it never crossed our mind that she would actually murder him.’