A Jupiter man is charged with the kidnapping and murder his estranged wife after he told cops she had been hospitalized at Jupiter Medical Center for a severe case of coronavirus, police said.
David Anthony, 43, of Jupiter, is being held without bond at a jail in Palm Beach County on charges of second-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of his 51-year-old wife, Gretchen, whose body has not been found, WPTV reports.
Anthony, who was arrested some 1,900 miles away in New Mexico on March 31, is suspected of killing his wife 10 days earlier.
Days after the alleged slaying, at least five people got troubling text messages that were purportedly sent by the woman on March 23 and 24, according to an arrest report obtained by the station.
In one message, Gretchen Anthony said she was being “quarantined” for two weeks after being infected with an “acute case” of COVID-19. The messages also indicated she was being held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or “CDC,” as one text read, after she was diagnosed at Jupiter Medical Center, police said.
David Anthony told a Jupiter police detective that Gretchen was being treated at the hospital for the virus, but hospital records showed no indication she was there, despite the woman’s blue Mini Cooper being found in its parking lot, the station reports.
A neighbor of the couple’s later told cops she heard a “woman’s voice let out a blood curdling scream” sometime on March 21, police said.
“No! No, it hurts,” the neighbor recalled the woman saying.
Cops found two bottles of cleaning solution and a rag in the couple’s kitchen, as well as towels that had a “reddish substance” that appeared to be blood, police said.
Video from Gretchen Anthony’s home also shows a person investigators say is her estranged husband carrying an “unknown object” into her porch on March 21, police said.
Gretchen then walked onto the porch before “muffled yelling” is heard. A security camera in a garage then showed a “blood soaked head of light colored hair” on a motionless body as David Anthony walked in the background, police said.
A judge on Thursday denied bond for Anthony, who has been extradited to Florida, WPTV reports.