The husband of a missing woman is suspected of falsely claiming his wife had COVID-19 in order to cover up her disappearance.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Gretchen Anthony has been missing since March 20, when she was last seen at her home in Jupiter, Florida. On March 31, police arrested her husband David Anthony, 44, in New Mexico, on suspicion of murder and kidnapping. Gretchen Anthony remains missing, and authorities have not revealed how they believe she was killed.
Citing police records obtained by local news outlets, the Washington Post reports that David Anthony sent texts to relatives in the days following his wife’s diappearance, claiming that she had become infected by the coronavirus. In one message, he said Gretchen was being “held” at a clinic; in another, he said that she had been hospitalized and was on a ventilator.
One relative became suspicious enough to report Gretchen missing, and contacted police about the messages. When officers reported to Gretchen’s home on March 26, neither she or David came to the door. According to the report, the pair was going through a divorce, but it is unclear where David was living at the time of Gretchen’s disappaearance.
Earlier in March, David had been arrested following a bizarre incident in which he allegedly approached a group of teenage girls and was seen “pacing back and forth and sweating profusely.” A police officer at the scene noted that David had apparently altered his license plate number using electrical tape, though David blamed it on his 12-year-old niece when police questioned him. The officer then tried to handcuff David after the suspect reached for something under a car seat, but he resisted, allegeldy slamming the door of the vehicle on the officer’s arm. He was charged with resisting an officer with violence and was in custody for four days before he was released on bail.
On the morning Gretchen Anthony was last seen, a neighbor reported hearing screams from her home, and a woman saying “No! No, it hurts.” And an unidentified witness reportedly texted David Anthony to ask about Gretchen on that same day.
“She mentioned something about going to beach to ground herself bc she wasn’t feeling well,” he replied, according to WPEC. “Then she proceeded to tell me I should ‘plead insanity’ on some bogus police charges I’ve been dealing with.”
According to the report, David Anthony had both he and Gretchen’s cell phones when he was arrested in New Mexico. And a cadaver dog picked up the scent of human remains at the home and in David’s truck.
Investigators are still trying to locate the whereabouts of Gretchen Anthony and are hoping the public may have seen or heard something related to this case,” police said in a statement obained by the Washington Post.
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