A Colorado man faces a murder charge in what he initially said was an accidental fatal fall by his second wife on a their 12th anniversary outing. Authorities are now re-examining the circumstances of his first wife’s death.
Harold Henthorn, 58 appeared before a federal judge in Deven on Thursday to face a first-degree murder charge in the death of Toni Henthorn, who died falling off a cliff in Rocky Mountain National Park in September 2012.
The couple, who met through a Christian dating website were hiking in steep and rocky terrain when Toni Henthorn plunged 40 to 50 feet to her death, according to park officials and Toni Henthorn’s family. Authorities haven’t disclosed any motives. Toni Henthorn was insured for $4.5-million under three life insurance policies, probate court records show.
The documents also state, that a claim was sent to one of those policies on October 1, 2012, two days after Toni Henthorn’s death. The couple also, have a daughter who is 9 years-old, according to Toni Henthorn’s brother.
According to Harold Henthorn, his wife’s death came when she slipped while taking a picture. Although, an autopsy shows Toni Henthorn died from multiple blunt force injuries after tumbling face first over a ledge “when she fell or was pushed down a cliff.” The coroner wrote. “Homicide cannot be excluded.”
Henthorn, was arrested outside his suburban Deven home without incident Thrusday morning after dropping his daughter off at school, the culmination of a more than two-year investigation that involved the National Park Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Toni Henthorn’s brother their family was immediately suspicious about the death because Henthorn kept changing his story about what happened.
Henthorn’s first wife, San Lynn Henthorn also died from a tragic accident, the couple was driving on a rural road about 10 miles outside Sedalia, Colorado when Henthorn pulled over on a gravel shoulder to check a tire. According to the autopsy report, San Henthorn may have been looking under the car for a lug nut when the jack slipped and the car crashed down, pinning her underneath.
She was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery, but did not survive. If convicted in the death of Toni Henthorn, Harrold Henthorn faces life in prison without parole and up to a $250,000 fine.