South Dakota authorities are pursuing charges against a man suspected of killing his wife at her home this week.
According to KDLT, police say they found 36-year-old Marie Brinker dead at her home in Mitchell Thursday evening after her 39-year-old husband, James, convinced one of the couple’s children to call 911 to report her death.
James Brinker was not at the residence when officers responded, according to reports, but was arrested a short time later at another home in the city.
The victim had reportedly obtained a protection order preventing her husband from contacting her. That order was still in effect at the time of her death.
After an initial investigation, officers collected evidence they say indicates James Brinker cut off his wife’s oxygen supply by stuffing a sock in her mouth and tying a belt around her head.
She reportedly died of asphyxiation after being left in that condition for an extended period of time.
The Daily Republic cited court documents indicating James Brinker found his wife unresponsive Tuesday morning.
Police say he claimed she “did not look good” and cut the tight belt from her head, but was not able to find a pulse.
By the time officers arrived later that day, records show the victim’s body was cold and stiff, an indication that her death occurred significantly earlier.
James Brinker faces several charges, namely a felony first-degree manslaughter count that carries up to a life sentence and $50,000 fine. He was jailed under $750,000 bond.
As KELO reported, he has a lengthy criminal history, including domestic assault.
[Featured image: Davison County Sheriff]