For days, Patrick Palmer made his family and friends believe his wife was alive and well, police said.
But detectives say it was a scheme to cover up a gruesome secret — he had shot her in the head, wrapped her in a tarp and dumped her body in the backyard.
It was a welfare check to the Palmer residence that led to the grizzly discovery April 17, the Broward Sheriff's Office said Tuesday. BSO deputies were called to 906 NE 24th Ave. in Pompano Beach after Patrick Palmer missed several days of work.
When deputies arrived, they found "blood in several rooms," the sheriff's office said Tuesday.
Patrick Palmer was "lying on the bed and bleeding from injuries to his arms," according to BSO. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries. Meanwhile, investigators found Sherryl Palmer's body in the backyard "wrapped in several tarps," BSO said.
"Near the body, detectives came upon a pickaxe and shovel near what appeared to be a shallow grave," BSO said in a news release. "The victim had begun to decompose. Dental records were used to confirm her identity."
The Medical Examiner's Office, BSO said, later determined that Sherryl Palmer had been shot twice in the head.
Witnesses told detectives they had heard gunshots around April 14, BSO said.
Palmer, who was arrested Tuesday, was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in Broward's main jail on no bond.