Gretchen Anthony missing: Husband accused of sending suspicious texts claiming she had coronavirus
Jupiter Police / Palm Beach County
David Anthony, Gretchen Anthony (file). David E. Anthony

By Jillian Olsen, WTSP

JUPITER, Fla. (WTSP) -- A phone call to police about a "suspicious text" on March 25 led to the arrest of a Florida man in New Mexico for the second-degree murder and kidnapping of his wife, according to police.

The Jupiter Police Department began investigating the disappearance of 51-year-old Gretchen Anthony on March 26 after her family reported her missing. She was last seen six days prior. She remains missing. Police say her husband, 43-year-old David Anthony was the last known person to have contact with her. David Anthony was arrested on March 31 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

CBS affiliate WPEC-TV reports a witness called the police department saying they received a "suspicious text message" from Gretchen Anthony on March 23, saying she had the coronavirus and was being held by the "CDC" at Jupiter Medical Center. The witness had not heard from her since, according to police documents.


TRUE CRIME DAILY: Gretchen Anthony case: Florida woman missing for weeks; Husband arrested in New Mexico - TCD


Hospital staff said there was no one there by that name. She hadn't been there since 2008, police were told. That's when police say they found Gretchen Anthony's dark blue Mini Cooper sitting empty in the parking lot of the Jupiter Medical Center.

According to the arrest report obtained by WPEC-TV, others reported receiving suspicious texts including similar comments to being treated for COVID-19 and that she had been sedated for treatment. Others said David Anthony had "issues" and they feared he may have done something to her.

Police revisited the house on March 26 when a neighbor asked if they were investigating "the attack that occurred Saturday morning," the station reports.

The neighbor said around 6 a.m. she heard a woman let out a "blood-curdling scream" and yell, "No! No, it hurts," from somewhere near the patio or garage of Gretchen Anthony's home. Others claim to have seen David Anthony's truck outside with the bed covered with a tarp and water mixed with unknown chemicals coming out from under the garage door. According to the police report, one was even able to place him with his wife the same morning neighbors heard screaming.

During a search of the home, police said they found cleaners, rags and towels that had a substance that looked like blood on them. They also found drops of blood, bleach stains on the floor and broken door frames and a key broken off in a lock.

Police also said a cadaver dog was used during the investigation at both Gretchen Anthony's home and in David Anthony's car. The dog alerted both times.

According to court documents, the couple filed for divorce in February, just shy of a month before Gretchen Anthony was reported missing.

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