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Woman's skeleton found 27 years after disappearance; neighbors say now-dead husband was odd

Neighbors say they had suspicions about a man who lived in an upstate New York with his wife's remains behind a false wall.

James Nichols was a detached, anti-social hoarder who would stand in his yard and stare into space. One neighbor says he once saw Nichols driving with a mannequin wearing a hat in the front seat.

Nichols reported his wife, JoAnn, missing on Dec. 21, 1985. Nichols died of natural causes in December at the age of 82. A contractor cleaning out the debris-filled house in Poughkeepsie found the skeleton Friday behind a false wall.

Officials say she died from a blow to the head.

Neighbors say they long suspected James Nichols had something to do with her disappearance.

No one has ever been charged. The investigation continues.

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