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Search for 'burn barrel' in alleged wife murder

November 11, 2008 1:59:47 PM PST
Police are looking for a 55-gallon oil drum that may have been used to burn the body of a woman who was allegedly killed by her husband. Senior state police investigator Bruce Cuccia said Tuesday that the "burn barrel" was in the couple's Cortlandt yard after Werner Lippe, 66, reported his wife Faith missing in early October. But it was gone four weeks later, when police charged him with her murder, Cuccia said.

"We believe it was discarded by Mr. Lippe," he said.

After the arrest, police said Lippe had admitted killing his 49-year-old wife and getting rid of her body "in a way that would make it difficult to locate." They have not confirmed that he said he burned her, but Cuccia said the search for the barrel, often used to burn leaves, "is consistent with what he told us about disposing of the remains."

Police have searched the yard for Faith Lippe's remains, and evidence from three sites that attracted cadaver dogs has been sent for lab tests. Cuccia said the results should be in by Thursday.

The Lippes, married 18 years, have a 14-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter, now in the care of neighbors. They were deep into divorce proceedings when Werner Lippe, a Manhattan jeweler, reported his wife missing Oct. 4.

He said she got into someone else's car in front of their house, leaving her bag at home. He spoke publicly about his family's anguish, saying, "It's hurting and killing me how my daughter is falling apart."

Faith Lippe was a nutrition consultant for the Ossining schools.

Although police say they have a confession, Lippe said in court last week, "I did nothing." And his lawyer, Andrew Rubin, said Lippe denies killing his wife.

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