A Florida man claims he found his wife dead in a bathtub inside their upscale Orlando home but police aren’t buying his story. Authorities said the man “fake cried” about his wife’s death while evidence indicated he killed her.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that 50-year-old David Tronnes is behind bars on a first-degree murder charge for the April 24 death of his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, 39. According to Tronnes, he found his wife submerged in a bathtub half-filled with water in their Delaney Park home. He said she likely slipped and fell, so he pulled her out and called for help.
The problem, according to Orlando police detectives, is that when they arrived to Tronnes’ home, he was completely dry after claiming just six minutes earlier that he lifted his wet wife from the bathtub. Detectives noted the area around the bathtub was also dry.
“Common sense would tell you if you pull a woman — soaking wet — out of a tub at 3 o’clock and call the police within six minutes, that everything will be soaking wet when police arrive within three minutes of that,” Detective Teresa Sprague said. “That’s common sense.”
Tronnes questioned how everything “dried out,” but when detectives told him they were the ones asking him that, he had no answer.
Cooper-Tronnes’ official cause of has been listed as blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation.
“Trust me: The evidence and her body speak for itself and your story is B.S.,” Investigator Barb McClelland told the suspect during questioning. “So you’d better figure it out before it goes too far, because I’m telling you right now — nobody is going to believe that. Nobody.”
Tronnes maintained his version of events, even telling the detectives he was sorry they didn’t understand his explanations. When he claimed “the things that you call discrepancies still ring true and are, if not perfectly accurate, directionally correct,” the detectives, clearly vexed, accused him of fake crying.
“You’ve fake cried for about seven or eight hours today. Not one tear came out of your eyes — not one,” Sprague said. “You have fake cried over this woman’s death since we made contact with you. … There is not a lick of remorse for what you did to this woman.”
Cooper-Tronnes, who had a young son from a previous relationship, married Tronnes a little over a year ago after meeting him on Match.com in 2013. He eventually moved to Florida to live with her. They married in 2017. Tronnes claimed they were happily married and in the process of being on a reality show as they renovated their home.
Authorities said money may have been the primary motive behind the incident. The couple had reportedly been arguing so much that Tronnes slept on the couch in the garage. The arguments were apparently due to money issues concerning their home and its renovation. Allegedly, Cooper-Tronnes owned the home due to a trust in her name. The home would be Tronnes if he took his wife out of the picture.
Investigators also tossed around a few other possible motives, including an accidental death during sex or an out-of-control argument, or possibly due to Tronnes wanting to date other people. The suspect remained quiet as authorities offered hypothetical theories.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Tronnes pleaded not guilty. He’s scheduled to appear in court again early next year.
[Featured image: David Tronnes and Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, Orange County Jail and Orlando Police Department]