Husband who sent COVID-19 texts arrested
Texts claiming that coronavirus sickened a missing Florida woman have led local police to charge her estranged husband with murder, according to reports.
According to Fox News, police in the town of Jupiter, Florida are still searching for Gretchen Anthony, 51, who disappeared in March, weeks after filing for divorce from her husband David Anthony, 48.
Anthony and his Nissan Frontier car were found in the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico, on March 31.
He was arrested there on charges of second-degree murder and kidnapping, Jupiter police said this week.
"As the investigation progressed and further evidence collected, it is believed David E. Anthony is responsible for her disappearance and related homicide which was determined to have occurred on March 21, 2020," police said in a news release.
Police said they began investigating the disappearance of Gretchen Anthony on March 25 after a woman reported getting a "suspicious text message" from her.
The text said she had COVID-19 and was being held by the "CDC" after being checked out at a medical centre, local channel WPEC-TV reported.
A police officer went to the hospital and was told Mrs Anthony wasn't a patient there, but the officer found her Mini Cooper with her purse in the parking lot, the station reported.
The arrest report says police interviewed a man who also said he got a text message from Gretchen Anthony the morning of March 24, saying that she was hospitalised with an "acute" case of COVID-19 and was being taken to a CDC centre in Belle Glade, Florida for "sedation".
Police said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't have a facility there.
According to the arrest report police spoke to a neighbour of Gretchen Anthony who asked them if they were there to investigate "the attack that occurred Saturday morning," March 21.
The neighbour told officers that shortly after 6am she heard a woman's voice from Gretchen Anthony's patio let out "a bloodcurdling scream" and then heard a woman yell, "No! No it hurts!" according to the station.
Another neighbour told police he also heard the screams and noticed David Anthony's truck parked on the road, with the bed loaded up and covered with a tarp, the station reported.
The Las Cruces Sun Herald reported that David Anthony was in New Mexico planning to flee to South America.
- With Fox News.
Originally published as Husband who sent COVID-19 texts arrested