Florida Man Kills Estranged Wife, Pretends to Be Her by Sending Suspicious Text Messages From Her Phone
A Florida man was charged with killing his estranged wife after months of trying to throw off people looking for her.
David Anthony, the suspect, managed to mislead people by sending texts from her phone saying she was in the hospital with COVID-19.
Antony has pleaded guilty murdering his wife, Gretchen Anthon, and told police where they could find his wife's remains, according to a People report.
Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg said during a news conference after Gretchen's body was recovered that her family wanted a proper memorial and burial.
Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said that they hope this will bring closure to the family now that Gretchen has been located.
Meanwhile, authorities cannot still pinpoint how Gretchen died.
They offered to charge David with only second-degree murder and kidnapping if he agreed to lead then to where his estranged wife's body lies.
David accepted the plea and admitted his guilt on Monday in front of Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen.
Part of the plea deal was that David will spend 38 years in prison for the crime.
Gretchen, 51, was reportedly last seen on Mar. 20 at her home in Jupiter.
The couple was in the middle of a divorce jointly sought with a court filing on Feb. 28. Gretchen's family then reported her missing on Mar. 26.
According to an arrest report, suspicious text messages coming from Gretchen on Mar. 23-24 were received by at least five people.
The sender, claiming to be Gretchen, had claimed to be infected with a severe case of COVID-19.
Gretchen was then reported to be checked out at Jupiter Medical Center and had checked into a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved task force.
At least one of the messages said she was being quarantined for 14 days.
Investigators located Gretchen's abandoned Mini Cooper in the parking lot of the medical center.
A surveillance video showed that David was the one who parked it there.
David, 43, was arrested in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Mar. 31.
Police said a cadaver dog trained to detect the smell of decomposition traced a scent inside Gretchen's home after she went missing.
A second cadaver dog was also alerted on David's 2016 black Nissan Frontier pickup when David was located and arrested.
Gretchen's door-video device captured a man on her home's porch as Gretchen stepped out.
Muffled shouting followed and a neighbor reported hearing what they described a blood-curdling scream from Gretchen's home.
Neighbors reported the next day that they smelled what seemed like blood and chemicals coming from the garage.
Police then found bleach stains in the garage and in a washing machine inside the house.
The arrest report also stated that towels had a reddish substance on them that appeared to be blood.
The prosecutor considered the outcome a success as they were able to find Gretchen's find, which they did not have any knowledge before.
David will be formally sentenced on Jan. 14.
David and Gretchen got married in 2015 in Nevada, according to a New York Post report.
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