WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A man who admitted incinerating his wife in an oil drum says he made up the story and never expected authorities to believe it.

Werner Lippe of Cortlandt testified Friday at his murder retrial. No trace of his wife has been found since she disappeared two years ago. A previous trial ended with a hung jury.

The 68-year-old jeweler told the new jury Monday that it is impossible to completely burn a body including bones and teeth. He said he told the story to a friend wearing a police wire to get investigators off his back.

He said he thought he would be exonerated when his story was disproved.

Instead, prosecutors claimed Lippe could have disposed of his wife’s bones and teeth with the acids he kept in his home workshop.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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