A Florida husband has been charged in the murder of his estranged wife—who disappeared without a trace last month—and authorities allege he tried to cover up the grisly crime by sending a text message claiming she tested positive for the coronavirus, authorities and local media reports say. David Anthony, 48, has been charged with second-degree murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Gretchen Anthony. The 51-year-old was reportedly last seen on March 20 at her Florida home and is believed to have been murdered the following day, according to the Jupiter Police Department.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the CBS-12, a witness told authorities on March 25 she received a “suspicious text message” from Gretchen two days prior claiming she had contracted COVID-19 and was being held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after checking out of Jupiter Medical Center. The same witness also told authorities that while the couple has been married for five years, they had recently separated after jointly filing for divorce on Feb. 28. Authorities said another witness later said she had also received a March 24 text from Gretchen Anthony’s phone stating that Gretchen had COVID-19 and was being sedated by the CDC, the affidavit states. By March 26, messages sent to the witness from Gretchen Anthony’s phone stated she was being placed on a ventilator at Palms West Hospital.