A US dentist accused of the fatal poisoning of his wife searched the internet for “how to make murder look like a heart attack” weeks before she died, a court has heard.
James Craig, 45, also sought answers to the question “is arsenic detectable in an autopsy?” at around the same time, it is alleged.
Detective Bobbi Olson told a court the defendant conducted the searches in February on a computer in a room at his dental practice in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado.
It came just before his wife, Angela Craig, made repeated trips to hospitals complaining of symptoms, including dizziness, vomiting and confusion that puzzled doctors, the hearing was told.
The mother-of-six died in March after being taken off life support following her third trip to hospital.
Blood tests later revealed that Mrs Craig died after being poisoned with cyanide and tetrahydrozoline, a substance found in eye drops.
While his wife of 23 years was being treated in hospital, Craig was allegedly meeting another woman, fellow dentist Karin Cain, who flew in from Texas to visit him.
Police believe he laced his wife’s pre-workout protein shakes with poison so he could pursue a relationship with Ms Cain, according to court documents.
Fellow dentist denies being ‘motive’
Ms Cain told ABC’s Good Morning America she had been in the process of divorcing her husband of almost 30 years when she met Craig at a dental conference in February.
She said they were together for three weeks but stated she did not willingly have a relationship with a married man.
“If I had known what was true, I would not have been with this person,” she said.
Asked whether she thought Craig killed his wife to be with her, Ms Cain said they had not been planning a future together and added: “There’s no way I’m a motive”.
Dentist suspected of poisoning protein shakes
Craig has yet to enter a plea in the case and his lawyer declined to comment to reporters before a hearing to determine if he will stand trial for first-degree murder.
Police launched an investigation after Craig’s colleague and friend, Ryan Redfearn, told a nurse the defendant had ordered potassium cyanide – even though they did not need it for their work, according to an arrest warrant.
Detectives suspect Craig put arsenic in one of the protein shakes and then, after she survived, he ordered a rush shipment of the cyanide that he told the supplier was needed for a surgical procedure.
He asked an office manager not to open that package but another employee did, leading to its discovery and eventual disclosure to police.
The delivery of a third poisonous substance he is accused of ordering, Oleandrin, was allegedly intercepted by authorities after they began investigating him.
Craig told Mr Redfearn he ordered the potassium cyanide for his wife and told a social worker that she had been suicidal and depressed ever since he asked for a divorce in December, although none of their children said anything about suicide attempts, according to an arrest document.
Mr Redfearn also told investigators that Craig was on the verge of bankruptcy and had been having problems in his marriage, court documents said.