Bizarre coronavirus texts lead to husband's arrest in wife's disappearance

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Former prosecutor and Fox Nation host Nancy Grace and her team of crime reporters and legal experts broke down a boatload of startling evidence behind the arrest of a Florida man in the disappearance of his estranged wife, including texts from the victim claiming that she had coronavirus.

Police arrested David Ethan Anthony, 44, of Jupiter, Fla. while he was in Las Cruces, N.M., on March 31 -- 10 days after his wife Gretchen was reported missing.

One month prior to her disappearance, Gretchen had filed for divorce.  David Anthony has been charged with murder and kidnapping.

"The story really starts when a friend of hers, a witness, starts getting these strange text messages on her phone saying that she had checked into a hospital and that she had coronavirus," reported Ray Caputo, lead news anchor for Orlando’s Morning News, 96.5 WDBO, on Fox Nation's "Crime Stories."


Investigators discovered very troubling evidence of foul play almost immediately in this case.

Grace pointed to reports that shortly after Gretchen went missing, a pawn shop owner alerted police that a man was attempting to sell him a bag of women's jewelry.

"What can you tell me about a jeweler reporting a man trying to sell a bag of women's jewelry?" Grace asked Caputo. "Was the jewelry hers?"

"It was hers," replied Caputo, "It shows that whoever was getting rid of it either needed a lot of money or maybe there was something symbolic in all this jewelry, perhaps they were trying to get rid of any memory of Gretchen.

"But from what I understand is that this raised a little alarm for the person who was possibly attempting to buy it and they never ended up purchasing it," he added.

According to Grace, investigators working a case frequently go to pawn shops right away.

"When you can't find a witness, you can't crack a case, there's two places to go," she said. "One, the county jail, because somebody knows something. Number two, the pawn shops. You go straight to a pawn shop and usually, they're very heavily monitored."


The very next day, following the jeweler's report, another bizarre report was made to the police.

A witness called to say that her mother got a text from Gretchen saying she was on a ventilator at Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee, Fla., and battling coronavirus.

"My first thought when I read the story was if she's on a ventilator, she is not sending texts, " said Dr. Bethany Marshall.

Finally, Grace reported a mountain of evidence discovered around Gretchen Anthony's home.

"A neighbor reportedly heard blood-curdling screams coming from the home," said Grace, "We're finding there were bleach stains on the floor of the garage leading to the driveway, towels in the washing machine. Broken glass and bloodstains in the master bedroom."

To hear more about this case and many others, watch "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" on Fox Nation.


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