Michael and Ellen Snyder’s divorce

Ellen de Baca divorced her husband, Michael Snyder, after he went missing in 2002, on grounds of desertion. She forgot to mention to the court that he was buried under her garage. This article says:

A judge gave Ellen possession of the couple’s joint checking accounts, a speedboat, and the couple’s large northeast heights home that the two had built together.

Part of that divorce proceeding includes an affidavit, in which Ellen claimed Michael was in an unknown location. She said she hadn’t heard from Michael since Jan. 11 of that year, which is the day he was killed.


New Mexico law states that when one of the parties involved in a divorce doesn’t show up for the proceedings, the judge can enter a default judgment for the person who is present.

In this case, Michael had already been buried in his back yard, and Ellen appeared in court and was awarded the couple’s possessions.

Ellen Snyder sold the house later that year.

If Ellen Snyder did lie in court, the documents are void. All property of the estate would then be turned over to the couple’s 14-year-old daughter.

It doesn’t sound like there’s much of an estate left — Ellen declared bankruptcy later on. But if Michael’s daughter got the estate, it would at least be a moral victory. Ellen already stole her father. She doesn’t need to steal her inheritance too.