Hartville man pleads guilty to murder charge in missing wife’s death

HARTVILLE, Ohio-- A Northeast Ohio man who initially said his wife died of natural causes during their trip to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and other charges in her death.

Seventy-three-year-old Philip Snider, of Hartville, pleaded guilty Monday in Canton. A plea agreement calls for him to disclose where he put 70-year-old Roberta Snider's body. In return, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

No motive has been released. A message was left for Snider's attorney.

Roberta Snider was last seen alive on Jan. 1 and the investigation began when her brother contacted police to explain the strange story of her disappearance. Philip Snider told her family he took his wife to Graceland, "One last time before she died."

He claimed she passed away in Memphis, Tennessee, so he pulled into a parking lot where he saw an EMS vehicle and asked for help.

Philip Snider said the paramedics confirmed Roberta was dead, then took her body to an unknown location. Hartville police contacted EMS companies, hospitals and medical examiner offices in the Memphis area, but none had any reports or Roberta of a Jane Doe matching her description.

That's when her husband changed his story. Philip Snider told police he, "Put here with nature" by throwing the woman's body off a bridge on Interstate 40 into the Tennessee River on Jan. 6.

Authorities in Benton County, Tennessee, searched for Roberta along the river, using helicopters and boats.

Authorities couldn't find the body or any record of her death.

Watch a past report in the video, above; continuing coverage of this story here