A woman who authorities believe was murdered by her husband at sea had previously expressed fear about being home with him, newly released text messages show.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Isabella Hellmann disappeared last year while sailing in the Caribbean with her husband, Lewis Bennett, for their honeymoon.
In May 2017, the catamaran the couple was on sunk between Florida and Cuba, with Bennett the sole survivor. United States prosecutors have charged Bennett with murdering Hellmann, alleging that he killed her because she didn’t want to move to Australia, where he is a citizen.
The couple had one daughter.
Finances may also have played a role in Hellmann’s killing. Within a day of her disappearance, Bennett requested a “letter of presumed death” so he could collect from her estate, The Sun reports.
Text messages show the couple was having financial problems and that there was a significant amount of tension in the marriage.
“You make me crazy shouting, yelling, swearing … YOU ARE PUSHING ME AWAY,” one text message Hellman sent Bennett reads. “This morning I was afraid to get home with the coffee but I walked in and I was right, I found an angry person, this is very sad …”
“Thank you for making me miserable. I was so excited waiting for you … U came only to criticized [sic] what I do,” she said in another text.
Bennett also has pleaded guilty to stealing gold and silver coins that he allegedly took from an employer. The coins, financial problems, and potential move to Australia may have triggered an “intense argument” that led to Hellman’s death, prosecutors have said.
Bennett told authorities he was sleeping while Hellmann was on the deck of the catamaran when he heard a noise and the boat started sinking. But experts concluded that damage to the vessel was likely intentional and originated from within the boat.
A trial is scheduled to start in December.
[Feature Photo: Isabella Hellmann & Lewis Bennet/Facebook]