By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A retired police officer strangled his wife during a fight and left her body on the floor of their bedroom for several days in central New York, authorities said on Monday.
A worried friend had reported to the police that Kathleen Wilkinson had not been seen in several days, prompting a deputy to visit her home in the town of Malta on Sunday, the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office said.
Her husband, Charles Wilkinson, 68, seemed reluctant at first to let a deputy sheriff into their home, the sheriff's office said, and when he was let in, the deputy sheriff found the wife's body on the floor of the bedroom upstairs. She apparently had been strangled during an argument, said James Murphy, the county's district attorney.
Wilkinson was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and was being held at the county jail without bail, Murphy said. The sheriff's office released a mug shot of Wilkinson in which he appears to have a black eye.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Kathleen Wilkinson, 65, was a retired teacher's aide, Murphy said. The results of an autopsy confirming the time and cause of her death were expected later on Monday, Murphy said.
Charles Wilkinson used to be a police officer in Nassau County on New York's Long Island, Murphy said. The couple later moved to Malta, a town about 15 miles north of Albany.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Bill Trott)