Husband who killed wife pretended she was on coronavirus deathbed, officials say

National News

JUPITER, Fla. (WPEC/CNN Newsource) — New details have emerged in the case of Gretchen S. Anthony, a missing woman who police say was killed by her husband, 48-year-old David Ethan Anthony.

David Anthony was arrested last week in Las Cruces, New Mexico on charges of second-degree murder and kidnapping in connection to his wife’s disappearance.

Everything began on March 25, when a witness called Jupiter police, saying she received a “suspicious text message” from Gretchen Anthony that stated she had COVID-19 and was being held by the “CDC” after being checked out at Jupiter Medical Center, according to the arrest report. The witness said she received the text the morning of March 23 and hasn’t heard from Gretchen Anthony since.

The witness told police that Gretchen Anthony was still married, but recently separated from David Anthony and had filed for divorce on Feb. 28.

An officer went to Gretchen Anthony’s home on Sunshine Drive in Abacoa and knocked on the door several times, but nobody answered, according to the arrest report. The officer then reached out to Jupiter Medical Center, but was told they couldn’t find anyone under the name Gretchen Anthony in their system. Officers later found her blue Mini Cooper, with a purse inside, in the northeast section of the parking lot near S. Old Dixie Highway.

Police say another witness said that he also got a text message from Gretchen Anthony the morning of March 24, saying that she was at Jupiter Medical Center with an “acute” case of COVID-19 and was being taken to a CDC approved task force in Belle Glade, where they “sedated her.”

However, Jupiter Medical Center said that’s not protocol and that she was not at the hospital, according to the arrest report. There is also no CDC center in Belle Glade.

The second witness, a friend of her husband, had access to Gretchen Anthony’s home and when he went inside with officers, she was nowhere to be found, according to the arrest report. He also told police he noticed on March 21 that Gretchen Anthony stopped sharing her location, which is not like her, and that the texts he received had language that she normally wouldn’t use.

However, he said those messages sounded more like David Anthony and showed police past text messages with him to back up his claim.

Police say two other witnesses also received suspicious text messages and were concerned, one of them saying that David Anthony had “issues” and was worried he may have done something to her. Police weren’t able to reach him by phone and when they went to David Anthony’s residence, a woman told them she hadn’t seen him since the day before (March 24) when he came to get his dog and told her he was moving to Costa Rica.

Shortly after police listed Gretchen Anthony as an “endangered missing adult,” Northern Communications conducted a “ping” on her cell phone, which showed it was near Pensacola, according to the arrest report. Police discovered that David Anthony was up there on March 25 and a clerk told them he tried to sell a bag of women’s jewelry.

The clerk said the store doesn’t buy the jewelry and provided police with surveillance footage that showed a man who appeared to be David Anthony, as well as his truck.

The clerk had also noticed David Anthony had a specific David Yurman ring that likely belonged to his wife.

On March 26, one of the aforementioned witnesses called police, saying her mother received a text from Gretchen Anthony, saying she was on a ventilator at Palms West Hospital, according to the arrest report. But when police went to the hospital, they were told she wasn’t there.

Gretchen Anthony’s boss told police she was last at work on March 20 and when he called her insurance company to see if she was getting medical treatment anywhere, they confirmed there were “no claims or authorizations” on her policy.

In fact, police discovered she hadn’t been to Jupiter Medical Center since 2008.

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