An Indiana woman used Google to collect information on types of deadly mushrooms before she allegedly poisoned her husband with them, prosecutors say.
The body of David Fouts, 50, was discovered in a ditch near the couple’s home on April 24 – several days after he was last seen alive.
According to court records, Fouts had cuts on his hands and duct tape residue on his wrists and ankles.
After a lengthy investigation, the coroner concluded the most likely cause of death was a lethal dose of mushroom, chunks of which were located in his stomach.
Although a toxicology report proved inconclusive, a botanist told prosecutors it wasn’t surprising that a mushroom toxin known as muscarine was not detected, noting muscarine has a half-life of about eight hours and is usually undetectable by 72 hours.
Last week, the victim’s wife, Katrina Fouts, 54, was charged with murder, conspiracy and failure to report a corpse.
A family friend, Terry Hopkins, 64, who formerly worked as a police officer, is also charged with aiding in the murder.
Officers say Fouts made no effort to contact her husband or report he was missing for several days after his disappearance, and also left a trail of incriminating clues.
Investigators discovered searches and screenshots on Fouts’ phone about poisonous mushrooms, according to an affidavit prepared by Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
The pair is due to appear in court on November 10.