A 32-year-old Minnesota woman was hospitalized in August for what she thought was food poisoning. And after four days under medical care, she died "following a sudden onset of autoimmune and infectious illness." But two months and a toxicology report later, her death was ruled a homicide — and her husband, a poison specialist, was accused of murder.
Connor Bowman, a 30-year-old former Mayo Clinic resident who most recently worked at the University of Kansas fielding poison-control calls, was arrested on October 20 and charged with second-degree murder after an autopsy found toxic levels of colchicine — used to treat gout — in Betty Bowman's system. She did not have gout and had not been prescribed the medication. From CBS:
While hospitalized, Betty suffered heart issues, fluid buildup in her lungs, and had to have part of her colon removed. She eventually died from organ failure. …
The complaint says they told police Connor, who used to work at the Mayo Clinic, contacted the office to halt the autopsy and push for Betty's immediate cremation, saying she "didn't want to be a cadaver." He had also contacted one of the death investigators to inquire about the scope and timeline of the toxicology analysis.
One of Betty's friends told investigators she was "a healthy person," and her marriage was in peril due to infidelity and other issues, and divorce was on the horizon. She also claimed the couple had separate bank accounts due to Connor's medical school debts, and that Connor told the friend he was set to collect $500,000 in life insurance, according to the complaint.
Investigators also spoke with a man who had been texting with Betty in the days before her death. On the night before her hospitalization, the man told police Betty texted to say she was at home drinking with Connor. The next morning, Betty texted him to say she felt sick and couldn't sleep, and she thought the culprit was a large smoothie she had consumed.
The university later alerted the detective in late September that Connor had been using university-issued devices in the days before Betty's death to search for information on the gout drug colchicine and sodium nitrate, which can limit the movement of oxygen in the body.
Bowman, currently at the Olmsted County Jail, has a scheduled court date of November 1.