The Jupiter Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating Gretchen Anthony, a woman they say was kidnapped and killed by her husband David Anthony, who is now in custody.
According to an arrest report, detectives first went to check on Gretchen at her Jupiter residence on March 25th. The house appeared to be empty, and no one responded.
On March 23rd, someone close to Gretchen had received a text from her saying she was sick with COVID-19 and was being "held by the CDC" after having been checked out at the Jupiter Medical Center.
Several other people who knew Gretchen called the police reporting the same: they had all gotten texts from Gretchen saying she had the coronavirus, and she had even told one person that she was being transported by a CDC task force in Belle Glade, and had been sedated.
Detectives searched for Gretchen at Jupiter Medical Center using her name and personal information, but no records of her were found except for her blue Mini Cooper parked in the parking lot.
Staff at Jupiter Medical Center also told police that sending people to Belle Glade with the CDC and sedating them was not their protocol for coronavirus patients.
Gretchen had recently separated from her husband, David E. Anthony, and had filed for divorce in late February. Several of the people who called the police to report receiving texts from Gretchen expressed concern that David posed a potential threat to her well-being.
Gretchen's ex-husband eventually led officers inside her home with access via the house's key pad. According to the arrest report, the house was vacant except for Gretchen's cats.
The ex-husband told officers that he had picked up his and Gretchen's daughter from Gretchen's residence on March 18th, and he was meant to drop her back off on March 23rd.
But on Saturday, March 21st, he noticed that Gretchen had stopped sharing her location with her daughter on several location-sharing apps they use, something that appeared to him to be unusual.
Several of the people who had received texts from Gretchen also noted that her language in the texts had been unusual given Gretchen's standard style of writing.
For example, Gretchen's ex-husband said that the texts had referred to 10 a.m. as "10a", something that was customary for David's texts, not Gretchen's. He showed detectives past conversations with both people to back his claims, according to the report.
Officers tried to contact David, but could not reach him and left two voicemails. They also went to his house and found no response, but a contact of David told officers that she had last seen him the day before (on March 24th) and that he had said he was moving to Costa Rica.
The contact also said that Gretchen had reached out to her asking to please take care of her cats while she was "quarantined for 14 days."
At this point, officers registered Gretchen into the system as an endangered missing adult. A ping of Gretchen's cell phone led them to a jewelry store in Pensacola, where a store clerk told officers David had tried to sell a bag of jewelry.
The clerk provided video footage of David and his truck, and told officers David had said the jewelry belonged to his mother, who he claimed had recently died from COVID-19.
Officers found no sign of Gretchen at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center or Lakeside Medical Center. They also confirmed that there is no CDC facility in Belle Glade.
On March 26th, one of the people who'd received texts from Gretchen about her supposed illness called detectives to report that her mother had gotten a text from Gretchen at 7 a.m. claiming she was on a ventilator. The text mentioned a Dr. Sinclair.
Officers were able to locate a doctor by that name at Palms West Hospital, but they found no sign of Gretchen at the facility.
Gretchen's employer called police to report that she had last been at work on March 20th "in good spirits." Gretchen's health care provider was contacted to see if any claims had been made to corroborate her texts, and no such claims were found.
A nurse from Jupiter Medical Center confirmed to officers that the last time Gretchen had been there was in 2008, and David in 2014.
On March 26th, officers went back to Gretchen's home. A neighbor approached and asked if they were there in regards to "the attack that occurred on Saturday morning."
She told the officers that at 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 21st, she'd heard a "blood curdling scream" from a woman yelling "No! No, it hurts!" from Gretchen's house. She said the screams came from either the patio or the garage area.
The woman said that she went out to investigate at 6:30 a.m., and that by then, the screaming had stopped. She told officers she walked to the rear of the house and saw only a black truck with the engine running and no one inside. She took a photo of the car and the license plate, and the number matched to David.
Another neighbor also told officers that he heard a female screaming very loudly early in the morning, and confirmed that he had seen the truck parked there as well.
Yet another neighbor told officers that when he was leaving for work on March 23rd, around 8:30 a.m., it appeared that someone was cleaning something from inside the victim's closed garage doors, as there was water mixed with an unknown white chemical coming out of the closed garage door.
Detectives conducted another search of the house. Inside, they found two bottles of cleaner and a rag in the kitchen, towels with what appeared to be blood stains in the clothes washer, broken glass frame upstairs on the landing, small pieces of glass on the comforter, and small droplets of blood on the wall of the master bedroom.
The garage was locked, and a key was broken off inside the lock. Officers breached the door and found an empty but wet garage, with large bleach stains on the flood leading to the driveway. According to the arrest report, they considered the garage a possible crime scene.
One of the people who'd been texted by Gretchen regarding her supposed illness told officers she had managed to text David on the evening of March 25th. He had texted her saying he had "randomly run into" Gretchen on Saturday morning, placing him with Gretchen the same morning witnesses had heard screaming coming from her house.
Two search warrants were issued, one for Gretchen's car and one for her house. Gretchen's daughter reported to officers that camping equipment, a tent, an air mattress and exercise mats were missing from the garage.
On March 30th, a man called the police identifying himself as David Anthony.
Among other things, he told officers that Gretchen was receiving treatment for COVID-19, that she had uncovered tax fraud at her employer, that she was terrified for her life and that someone had been sent to hurt her last weekend, and that she wanted the detectives to interview her family to find out if her ex-husband could pose a threat.
On March 31, David was arrested in Las Cruces, New Mexico for the March 21 homicide of Gretchen Anthony in Jupiter. He was extradited back to Palm Beach County early Thursday morning.
He's facing charges of second-degree murder and kidnapping and remains at the Palm Beach County Jail.
This is still an active investigation, and police are still seeking the public’s assistance to help find Gretchen Anthony. Anyone who may have any additional information is asked to please call the Jupiter Police Department at 561-741-2235.