ROCHESTER, Minn. (TCD) -- A 30-year-old former Mayo Clinic resident was charged with murder this week for allegedly poisoning his wife over the summer amid marital struggles.
According to KAAL-TV, on Aug. 16, Betty Bowman went to the Mayo Clinic emergency room due to dehydration and diarrhea. She became sicker over the course of several days as her organs failed and her cardiac issues worsened. She died Aug. 20. In her obituary, her family listed her cause of death as a "sudden onset autoimmune and infectious illness."
Investigators, however, now allege her husband, Connor Bowman, poisoned her with a gout medication even though she did not have the ailment, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Connor Bowman reportedly told doctors his wife most likely died from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, known as HLH.
According to Johns Hopkins Hospital, HLH occurs when white blood cells attack other blood cells, causing swelling of the spleen and liver. HLH is a rare disease, though it occurs more frequently in infants and young children than adults.
KAAL reports Betty Bowman did not have an HLH diagnosis in her chart.
Minnesota Public Radio reports Bowman allegedly tried to have his wife’s remains cremated as soon as possible and asked not to have an autopsy completed. Around the time of her death, the Bowmans were reportedly experiencing marital problems and thinking about divorcing. Connor Bowman was on his wife’s life insurance plan and would have received $500,000 following her death.
Rochester Police Department investigators learned Connor Bowman previously worked as a poison expert at the University of Kansas. He allegedly used his university-issued computer to look up colchicine, the gout medicine. KAAL reports Bowman often fielded calls for the university about poison, but he never consulted on any calls regarding colchicine.
According to KAAL, the Mayo Clinic released a statement regarding Bowman’s arrest, saying, "We are aware of the recent arrest of a former Mayo Clinic resident on charges unrelated to his Mayo Clinic responsibilities. The resident’s training at Mayo Clinic ended earlier this month."