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Poison expert accused of fatally poisoning wife, Mayo Clinic resident reportedly made suspicious internet searches
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Poison expert accused of fatally poisoning wife, Mayo Clinic resident reportedly made suspicious internet searches

A Minnesota doctor – who is also a poison expert – has been charged with murder after his wife was fatally poisoned. The Mayo Clinic resident faces up to life in prison if convicted of murdering his wife.

Dr. Connor Fitzgerald Bowman, 30, was indicted last week on one count of first-degree murder and another count of second-degree murder, according to the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office in Minnesota.

"The Grand Jury found probable cause that Mr. Bowman intentionally and with premeditation was responsible for her death," Olmstead County Attorney Mark Ostrem said in a statement.

Bowman had initially been charged with second-degree murder.

Bowman was arrested on Oct. 20, 2023, in connection with the deadly poisoning of his wife, Dr. Betty Bowman – a 32-year-old pharmacist who also worked at the Mayo Clinic.

The complaint says Betty Bowman was admitted to the hospital with "severe gastrointestinal distress and dehydration where her condition deteriorated rapidly" on Aug. 16, 2023. Betty reportedly began experiencing the issues after drinking with her husband at home and originally believed her symptoms to be from food poisoning.

"Victim experienced cardiac issues, fluid in her lungs, and eventually organ failure," court documents state. "Victim was taken in for surgery to remove a portion of her colon after it was discovered it contained necrotic tissue."

Betty died at St. Mary's Hospital on Aug. 20.

An online obituary said Betty died following a "sudden onset autoimmune and infectious illness."

Investigators determined that Betty died from "the toxic effect of colchicine" – a medicine primarily used to prevent gout. There are purportedly no records of Betty suffering from gout or being prescribed colchicine, according to the criminal complaint.

Court documents say Bowman made potentially damning internet searches – including researching colchicine online.

CBS News reported, "Six days before Betty’s hospitalization, the complaint states he converted her weight to kilograms and multiplied it by 0.8. This conversion — 0.8 mg/kg — gets the lethal dosage rate for colchicine."

Bowman's browsing history from Aug. 5, 2023, showed searches for "internet browsing history: can it be used in court?" and "Police track package delivery."

The Mayo Clinic resident also allegedly arranged to have Betty "cremated immediately." However, the Southeast Minnesota Medical Examiner’s Office put the kibosh on the cremation request "after learning of possible suspicious circumstances," according to the complaint.

The criminal complaint states that Bowman attempted to cancel his wife's autopsy and allegedly asked investigators if the toxicology analysis would be "more thorough" than those conducted at the hospital.

Bowman used his hospital credentials to view the electronic health record of his dead wife, according to the complaint.

The complaint states a woman contacted the medical examiner's office to tell authorities that the Bowmans "were having marital issues and were talking about a divorce following infidelity."

Another woman claimed that Bowman said that he was going to receive a $500,000 life insurance payout as a result of his wife’s sudden death, the complaint reads.

Bowman had attended pharmacy school, worked in poison control in Kansas, and was in medical school.

A GoFundMe page raising funds for the legal fees and other bills facing the mother of the deceased woman celebrated Betty as "a light to so many people and words cannot express how much she will be missed."

Bowman remains at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center in lieu of $2 million bail with conditions or $5 million bail for unconditional release.

Bowman is expected to be arraigned on Jan. 16.

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