Florida man accused of killing wife, blaming disappearance on coronavirus infection

JUPITER, Fla. -- A Florida man is accused of killing his wife and blaming her disappearance on a COVID-19 infection.

Police said 51-year-old Gretchen Anthony was last seen at her Jupiter home in mid-March.

In an affidavit obtained by ABC News, a neighbor reported a blood-curdling scream and a woman yelling "no, no, it hurts" the morning Anthony vanished.

Gretchen's estranged husband David Anthony left the state and was arrested in New Mexico days later. He was extradited to Florida Thursday and charged with murder and kidnapping.

"She didn't come to work, which was very unlike her. She didn't call or text or anything," said Gretchen's friend Jennifer Rogers.

Coworkers said after Gretchen went missing, they received a suspicious email from her saying she had come down with an "acute case" of COVID-19. Rogers called the language used in the email "alarming."

Police said multiple witnesses also received text messages from Gretchen's phone number that claimed she was admitted to a coronavirus clinic, but those who know her said the story didn't add up.

"At this point, everyone's saying, 'Well, this is really strange.' So they called the police ... Things didn't look right," Rogers said.

In the affidavit, police said they found Gretchen's car in the parking lot of local hospital, but the hospital never had a record of her as a patient.

The document also said surveillance video showed a taller white male with dark hair dropping off that car.

Police said blood was found in the garage of Gretchen's home, and surveillance video showed a "water jug with a blood-like substance on it."

The report said that the same male looked directly into a garage camera, grabbed it "with a gloved hand and [pulled] it down." A witness identified the male in the video as David, according to the report.

"She was a wonderful person who didn't deserve any of this ... I just really hope that anybody that has any information will come forward because I feel like there's gotta be somebody that saw something," Rogers said.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.