Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite just wanted a fresh start.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer last fall, the 42-year-old has just completed her last round of chemotherapy – an achievement the mother-of-two has documented on social media.
“She’s a strong woman!” Mary Smith, one of Elizabeth’s childhood friends, told The Daily Beast on Monday. “She just finished chemo last week.”
But authorities say the milestone was almost immediately overshadowed when Elizabeth learned the husband she raised in rural Indiana, Andrew, had been having an affair. Elizabeth hired an attorney and filed for legal separation in Boone County Circuit Court on March 18.
That same day, her husband recorded the progress of her health online — a post more bizarre given what prosecutors said next. “So proud of you,” Andrew Wilhoite wrote alongside a photo of his smiling wife of 12 years.
On March 24, in a particularly tense fight over Elizabeth’s love affair and move toward divorce, prosecutors allege, Andrew Wilhoite fired him. They say he hit his wife in the face with a gallon-sized cement flower pot before dumping her body in a creek near their home in Lebanon – and later admitting to killing her, despite though while claiming that she attacked him.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Department found Elizabeth’s body on March 26 in 3 meters of water. On Monday, Wilhoite – whose mother was a county council member in Boone – was charged with murder in an incident that stunned friends and community members.
“What prompted him to attack in such a way?” Smith asked. “It’s annoying to wonder if she knows she’s in danger.”
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, the investigation into Elizabeth’s disappearance began last Friday, when her colleagues at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Indiana reports that she doesn’t come to work. In the initial call with authorities, a colleague said Elizabeth was “having problems with her husband” and had recently “filed for divorce”.
“It’s not like Elizabeth doesn’t come to work,” the colleague added, according to the affidavit.
Describing her friend as a “dedicated mother” and “joyful,” Smith said Elizabeth’s public battle with cancer stands in stark contrast to a more muted family life.
“She has a smile that lights up a room. Smith said. “I didn’t know they had a problem. It’s hard to know a friend who is most likely traumatized and struggling with serious issues beyond cancer — which is huge — and impossible to know.”
When officers arrived at the Wilhoites’ home about 30 minutes outside of Indianapolis, they were greeted by Andrew Wilhoite’s three children, one of whom was from a previous marriage. Two of the children said that Elizabeth was not at home and they tried to contact her.
The affidavit’s stepdaughter added that “Elizabeth can stay with her sister and Elizabeth leaves when she is sad.” As authorities began to leave the family farm, the affidavit states, Andrew Wilhoite was “driving a blue tractor into the driveway” and indicated that his wife was missing.
“Andrew claimed that they had a pretty good fight last night, and she was drunk,” the affidavit read. “Andrew Wilhoite said, ‘As you can see,’ as he was pointing to the scratches on his neck.”
Wilhoite is said to have started telling authorities that his wife had slept on the couch on the night of March 24 after a fight, and that he had not seen her the next morning when he go early to “carry corn”.
“Andrew said he was lying in bed and Elizabeth was turning over,” the affidavit read. “Andrew advises that this is not the first time something like this has happened. Andrew Wilhoite says he’s done things he shouldn’t have done before.”
He added that he had also just found out from his accountant that about $3,000 had been taken out of their bank account and that he had been told that Elizabeth “has an attorney and is filing divorce petition,” the affidavit read. Wilhoite is later said to have gone as far as to say that he believed “maybe something drug-related … happened” to his wife.
But authorities say that Andrew Wilhoite’s story began to unravel after authorities spoke to Elizabeth’s father, who clarified that his daughter had taken money from their bank account on the day of his death. March 18 because “she will have to divorce Andrew.” Her father, Thomas Richards, added that he believes Wilhoite may have “done something to Elizabeth,” the affidavit said.
During a search of the property, authorities discovered blood stains on the bed sheets and pillows of the Wilhoites master bedroom, “along with droplets on and around the door and inside the master bathroom over the sink. ”
The search for Elizabeth prompted the Indiana State Police to intervene. In that interview, Wilhoite confessed to an affair that his wife had recently discovered—“and [that she] The affidavit said. He added that while he thought the couple, who married in 2009, would work things out and had even planned to go for counseling in May, his wife had covered his eyes. by hiring an attorney and giving him a “legal notice of separation” and asking him to sign it.
“Andrew claimed that he refused to sign the documents without having his own attorney review it,” the affidavit added.
The farmer said the night before Elizabeth went missing, the couple spent about three hours in the garage arguing about the affair. Eventually, the argument continued in their bedroom, where Andrew Wilhoite told authorities Elizabeth “went to him” in a belligerent manner and began hitting him in the back.
“Elizabeth scolded Andrew for having an affair and was upset with him. Andrew claims that he has beaten Elizabeth in the past but not in this particular conflict,” the affidavit read. “Elizabeth left the room and went to sleep on the couch, while Andrew slept on the bed.”
Investigators say that while Wilhoite initially insisted that nothing else happened that night, he eventually confessed to killing his wife during interrogation. He allegedly told police that Elizabeth started yelling at him about the affair and started “beating” him and asking him to leave the house.
Wilhoite said he “physically threw Elizabeth out the front door of the house” before “he picked up a gallon-sized cement flower pot that was covered in dirt and smack it in the face,” the statement said. written oath.
“Elizabeth fell to the ground and Andrew said he didn’t know what to do so he took Elizabeth’s body, put it in his pickup truck and threw it into a nearby creek on the east side of the mansion, ‘ added prosecutors. They allege that Wilhoite went so far as to collect the broken pot pieces and put them in a plastic bag.
The affidavit states that when investigators asked Wilhoite if his wife was still breathing when he threw her into the stream, he admitted “he didn’t know because he didn’t check” but he I don’t recall “she groaned or moved. He also described to investigators how he threw his wife’s body over the bridge into the creek, and he believed she was still there.
Later that morning, Wilhoite threw debris out of the window of his truck as he was traveling to Linden, Indiana, to drop a shipment of corn, authorities said.
Police immediately arrested Wilhoite, and he is currently being held without bond at the Boone County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Tuesday and his family – including his mother – did not immediately respond to comment.
Elizabeth’s last social media post included a quote from author Emma Grace: “You deserve a life without pain,” the March 20 post read.
For Smith, realizing that her longtime friend had been through more than she knew was devastating.
“I think we all have a lot of unanswered questions,” she told The Daily Beast.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/andrew-wilhoite-allegedly-murdered-his-wife-elizabeth-nikki-with-a-flower-pot-after-she-filed-for-separation?source=articles&via=rss Andrew Wilhoite allegedly killed his wife Elizabeth “Nikki” with a flower pot after she filed for separation