An Indiana woman is believed to have murdered her husband by having him consume toxic amounts of poisonous mushrooms before dumping his body in a ditch.
Katrina Fouts, 54 of Pendleton, and Terry Hopkins, 64 are charged with murder in the death of David Fouts, 50, The Indianapolis Star reported.
David was found dead in a ditch on April 24 of this year. His wife had never reported him missing and it had been several days since anyone had last seen the man alive.
An autopsy of the apparent murder victim later found chunks of mushrooms in his stomach, which were determined to be toxic and poisonous.
Investigators said Katrina Fouts never reported her husband missing or tried to call him in the days after he had disappeared.
“There was a poisonous agent in his stomach that, if untreated, will produce death,” the Hamilton County Coroner told the Indianapolis Star.
Additionally, officials said in an affidavit that they discovered searches on Katrina’s cell phone about poisonous mushrooms and inquiries about overdosing on medications.
According to Metro, the mushrooms tested positive for muscarine, a naturally occurring toxic poison found in certain varieties of deadly mushrooms. The poison is usually undetectable after about three days, but examiners were able to determine the poison’s presence through the mushroom chunks.
It’s unclear if David Fouts was force-fed or was given the poison mushrooms to eat under false pretenses. However, his corpse was found with various cuts to his hand at the time of its discovery.
Investigators say that muscarine, the toxin present in the mushrooms found in David’s stomach, is usually undetectable within 72 hours, making it impossible to detect their poison after a certain amount of time has passed.
Family friend and former police officer Terry Hopkins is also charged with aiding in the murder of David Fouts.
According to NBC affiliate WWLP, no motive has been given for the toxic-based killing, but Katrina Fouts was charged last week for her alleged role in the poison mushroom murder.
Prosecutors also alleged that they discovered DNA evidence on David Fouts’ body that tied his wife to the slaying.
It is not clear if either Katrina or Hopkins have attorneys available to comment on the matter. They are currently being held without bond in a county jail.
Investigators claim they found a screenshot on her phone with information on deadly mushrooms and insist she made no effort to contact her husband for several days after his disappearance.
Investigators are still working to determine how exactly the killing took place, and have alleged Katrina Fouts admitted to killing her husband over the course of various interviews, The Indianapolis Star reported.
After her first interview, Katrina reportedly searched “Indiana homicide laws,” “crime of passion law in Indiana,” and “how to pass lie detector test” on her phone.
According to CBS affiliate WANE, investigators believe her husband’s likely cause of death was a lethal dose of toxins from the poison mushroom chunks in his stomach.
Katrina Fouts and Hopkins are due back in court in early November.
Although a toxicology report proved inconclusive, a botanist at Purdue 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.