Family Crimes

Man Who Didn’t Report Wife Missing Because He’s Not ‘Cop-Calling Type’ Allegedly Killed Her, Put Body In Trash

“She meant the world to me, my wife. I have known her since … I was 10 years old. We have known each other 40 years,” Joseph Traeger told the media while Jeneen Ann Catanzaro was still considered missing.

A South Florida man who waited days to report his wife missing is now accused of stabbing her to death and leaving her body in the trash to be picked up by a garbage truck.

Joseph Edward Traeger, 50, told police he didn't report the disapperance of his 50-year-old wife Jeneen Ann Catanzaro until Dec. 2 because he wasn't "the cop-calling type," according to an arrest report cited by WTVJ in Miami.

He also claimed to be a worried husband while she was still classified as missing.

“She meant the world to me, my wife. I have known her since … I was 10 years old. We have known each other 40 years,” Traeger told WFOR in Miami.

Traeger was arrested last week and charged with the Catanzaro's murder. He was also charged with giving false information to police and tampering with evidence. He’s being held without bail, and it’s unclear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.

Catanzaro’s body was discovered several miles away from the couple’s home at a landfill.

Traeger has allegedly admitted to wrapping her body in trash bags and leaving her outside the home along with the trash, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Traeger allegedly stabbed Catanazaro in the base of her skull with a kitchen knife during a fight over whether she'd let him move back into the house after she'd previously kicked him out, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, citing an arrest report.

The victim’s stepfather, Michael Lenover, told WFOR in Miami that Traeger “finally had the strength to leave him after 10 1/2 years of marriage.”

The couple had a history of domestic violence. Catanzaro had reportedly filed two domestic violence reports earlier this year, according to the Sun-Sentinel. He was also reportedly convicted of raping and strangling his former wife, according to WFOR.

[Photo: Broward County Sheriff’s Office]

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