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Florida man arrested in Las Cruces admits using virus quarantine rules to cover up his wife’s murder

david-anthony
Doña Ana County Jail
David Anthony's mugshot following his arrest in New Mexico for his wife's murder.

JUPITER, Florida -- A man arrested in Las Cruces, New Mexico earlier this year and extradited back to Florida on accusations of murdering his wife has now accepted a plea deal and admitted to using virus quarantine rules to try and cover up the killing.

ABC affiliate WPFB reports that during a court hearing on Monday, David Anthony, 44, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping and was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

As part of the deal, Anthony must tell authorities where the remains of his 51-year-old wife Gretchen are by the end of the day.

Investigators believe she was killed on March 21, when a neighbor told police they heard a woman's "blood curdling screams" along with shouts of "No! No!" coming from the Anthony's garage.

Police later searched the house and found soiled towels, along with droplets of blood and large bleach stains on the floor of the garage.

ABC News previously reported that David Anthony attempted to cover up his wife's killing by using her cellphone to send text messages that appeared to come from her, telling family and friends that she was in a CDC-required quarantine at a hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

Cellphones belonging to David and Gretchen Anthony pinged off a tower on March 27 in Texas. New Mexico State Police caught up with David Anthony on March 31 in Las Cruces and took him into custody while he was out walking his dog near Avenida de Mesilla and Hickory Drive.

He was sent back to Florida in May to face the charges and a judge at the time ordered him held without bond until trial.

Gretchen's whereabouts have remained unknown this entire time. David is expected back in a south Florida court on Jan. 14.

(ABC News contributed to this report.)

Article Topic Follows: Crime

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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