An Indiana man has been charged with killing his wife who reportedly filed for separation this month; her body was found early Saturday partially submerged in a creek.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Indiana State Police arrested 39-year-old Andrew Wilhoite, saying he struck Nikki Wilhoite in the head with a blunt object, then drove her to a nearby creek, and dumped her body.
According to The Daily Beast, the blunt object was identified as a cement plant pot. Wilhoite later confessed that he “didn’t know what to do” before he ended up dumping his wife’s body.
“She was such a strong woman!” Mary Smith, one of Elizabeth’s childhood friends, told The Daily Beast. “She had just finished up chemo last week.”
Nikki Wilhoite had recently been undergoing treatment for cancer. Her husband is the son of Boone County Councilwoman Marcia Wilhoite and Alan Wilhoite, president of the county’s planning commission and a member of the county zoning appeals board, according to the county website.
Boone County Sheriff’s deputies began the investigation on Friday after Nikki Wilhoite did not show up for work and was reported missing. Deputies searched the area around the Wilhoites’ home with K9s for several hours without finding her. Children inside the couple’s home said they, too, were looking for their mother.
When investigators determined that her disappearance may have been a homicide, Sheriff Mike Nielsen called in state police to investigate, WXIN reported.
During a search of the couple’s property, investigators found blood on the bedsheets and on a pillow in the master bedroom. They also found “small droplets [of blood] on and around the door and inside the master bathroom on the sink.”
“When our investigators realized this could be a possible homicide investigation, we wanted to do discuss the best way to move forward with the investigation since the mother of Andrew Wilhoite is a county councilwoman, another county elected official,” said Nielsen. “
“To avoid any conflict of interest, it was decided to contact the Indiana State Police and ask them to lead the investigation, and we would assist them.”
Andrew Wilhoite reportedly told police that he had been fighting with Nikki, after initially denying knowing where she was. He also admitted he previously had an affair that Nikki found out about. Afterward, she took money from her bank account to start the separation proceedings.
“Andrew stated that he refused to sign the documents without his own attorney reviewing it,” the affidavit added.
The defendant later admitted to killing Nikki after she screamed at him about the affair, started “physically striking” him, and told him to leave the family home. The night before her disappearance, the couple reportedly argued in the garage for hours about the affair.
Wilhoite is currently being held in the Boone County Jail without bond.
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[Feature Photo: Nikki & Andrew Wilhoite/Facebook/Police Handout]