A Florida Man Used COVID-19 To Hide The Murder Of His Ex-Wife

David Anthony first told police that his ex-wife was on the run because she had discovered alleged financial crimes on the part of her employer, but police had surveillance tape, digital trails, and witnesses to refute his lies.

January 17, 2023
Gretchen Anthony, pictured here, was murdered by her ex-husband in 2020.

In March 2020, Gretchen Anthony disappears after texting loved ones that she was diagnosed with COVID-19. When a search of her home suggests foul play, investigators rely on recorded jailhouse phone calls to unravel the mystery of what happened to her.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "Calls From The Inside")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "Calls From The Inside")

Eight days after the spreading COVID-19 pandemic caused the world to grind to a sudden halt, Gretchen Anthony’s family and friends got a terrifying message — she had tested positive for the novel virus and was very sick.

The texts over the next several hours were frantic. She had gone to Jupiter Medical Center near her Jupiter, Florida home on March 23, 2020, where she was admitted and then moved to the intensive care unit. When her right lung began to struggle, her doctor talked about the possibility of a medically induced coma to help her body rest. Eventually, her condition grew so critical that she said she was moved to a CDC facility for acutely ill COVID-19 patients.

By March 25, the text messages had ceased. Gretchen had never told her family the name of the CDC facility, so her sister in New Jersey called the Jupiter Police Department, hoping that they could find answers since COVID patients weren’t allowed to have visitors. The police called Jeff, Gretchen’s ex-husband and the father of her 11-year-old daughter. He told authorities that he thought Gretchen was still at the Jupiter Medical Center because he’d seen her car in the parking lot.

Authorities found her car at the hospital, but they made a gut-wrenching discovery. Gretchen’s purse was sitting in plain view on the passenger seat. Additionally, the hospital had no record of Gretchen in their system. There was also no specialized COVID-19 facility administered by the CDC. With the COVID-19 story an apparent dead end, Gretchen was officially a missing person.

A search of Gretchen’s home had its own sinister finds. There were cleaning products left out on the counter, and the towels lying on the washing machine appeared to have dried blood on them. Streaks on the garage floor and concrete driveway made it look as if somebody had poured out a large amount of bleach.

As the police continued to look through Gretchen’s home, they found broken glass on the stairs and blood on the wall. A closer inspection also revealed that the brand-new security cameras inside the home had been removed.

There was one more person for the authorities to speak with — Gretchen’s newest ex-husband, David. She and David had been married for several years at the time of her disappearance, but things had been rocky following a serious accident that nearly cost David his life. Ultimately, he moved out in December 2019, and Gretchen filed for divorce at the end of February 2020.

There was just one problem — David was nowhere to be found.

Get all the details on how police solved the case on Calls From the Inside: “The Covid Killer” on Jan. 17 at 9/8c on ID. More episodes are available now on discovery+.

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