Wife Claimed Husband Died After Fall from Boat — But Police Say She May Have Killed Him with Benadryl

An Idaho woman who claimed her husband died after falling from his boat into a lake in 2018 is now charged with murder after his autopsy found a lethal dose of Benadryl.

Jail records show Laurcene “Lori” Isenberg, 66, was arrested Monday on a murder charge by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. She is being held on $2 million bond.

Isenberg’s husband, Larry Isenberg, disappeared on Feb. 13, 2018. In an email afterward to family and friends obtained by the Coeur d’Alene Press, Lori claimed she and Larry had taken a boat onto Lake Coeur d’Alene to watch the sunrise, but Larry fell into the water while inspecting a broken motor.

She claimed she tried to save him but said she tripped on a space heater and hit her head. For about an hour, she claimed, she drove the boat around the lake looking for Larry before eventually calling 911.

But Larry’s autopsy found no evidence of drowning, KXLY reported. Instead, a lethal amount of Benadryl was found in his system.

Now, court documents allege Isenberg — a longtime person of interest in the case — planned to kill her husband by intentionally creating the situation in which he was submerged in the lake and died, the Associated Press and The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., report.

The Washington Post reports the charges carry a special enhancement alleging she may have killed her husband by poisoning him, torturing him and/or lying in wait.

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Isenberg was the former executive director of an organization that works with low-income families, but in January 2019 she pleaded guilty to wire fraud and federal program theft for stealing $500,000 from the organization, KREM reports. She was sentenced to five years in prison.

KHQ reports Isenberg was additionally ordered to pay $1.7 million in damages to the non-profit as part of a civil judgment.

The Post Register reports two of Isenberg’s daughters pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in Oct. 2018 for taking money their mother had embezzled.

It was not immediately clear if Isenberg has entered a plea to the murder charge. KREM reports she has a public defender, but PEOPLE was not immediately able to identify the attorney.

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