A Minnesota doctor who once worked for poison control was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly poisoning his wife who died in August.
Connor Bowman, 30, allegedly killed his wife, Betty Bowman, who was 32 years old when she died on Aug. 20, only four days after being admitted to a hospital. After her death was flagged as suspicious, police learned the two were having financial and marital troubles and that Connor said he would get a hefty life insurance payout from her death.
Investigators “collected evidence that suggests Connor, who once worked for poison control, may have given Betty a drug for an ailment she did not have,” the Rochester Police Department said Monday.
An attorney listed as representing Bowman in court documents did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon.
In mid-August, Betty was admitted to the hospital after suffering from symptoms of diarrhea and dehydration. Once there, she suffered from cardiac issues, fluid in her lungs and organ failure, according to a criminal complaint filed against Connor. She also had surgery to remove part of her colon.
Following her death, Connor Bowman wanted to cremate his wife, but the medical examiner’s office halted the cremation after determining her death was suspicious, the complaint said.
The Southeast Minnesota Medical Examiner’s Office alerted Rochester police on Aug. 21 about the suspicious death of a woman, according to a criminal complaint filed against Bowman. The woman was not named in the complaint, but police later identified her as his wife Betty.
Police then spoke to a person who told investigators the Bowmans were having problems in their marriage and “were talking about a divorce following infidelity and a deteriorating relationship,” the complaint said.
Police also learned from a tipster, Bowman attended pharmacy school, worked in poison control in Kansas and was in medical school. Investigators, according to the complaint, also learned that Bowman had debt, so he and his wife kept separate bank accounts, and that Bowman told the tipster he was going to get $500,000 in life insurance because his wife died.
Bowman was listed as a credentialed physician and surgeon on the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice and had an affiliation with the Mayo Clinic. No one with the Mayo Clinic could be immediately reached Tuesday.
A person from the University of Kansas who provided information to police, told investigators on Sept. 29, that Bowman was a poison specialist and answered calls regarding poisons, the complaint said.
Bowman worked as a poison specialist on Aug. 5, 6, and 10, according to the complaint.
The person told police Bowman was researching colchicine, a drug used to treat gout, the complaint said. Bowman had not received calls about colchicine, and no other employee received calls about the drug, the complaint said.
Betty Bowman’s toxicology results showed colchicine was present in her blood and urine, which were taken when she was admitted to the hospital, according to the complaint. She did not have gout, nor was she given colchicine during her hospital stay leading up to her death, the complaint said.
“The Medical Examiner determined the cause of death of Victim to be toxic effects of colchicine and the manner of death to be homicide,” the complaint said.
Police also executed a search warrant at Bowman’s home. There, officers found a receipt for a $450,000 bank deposit, the complaint said.
According to Betty Bowman’s obituary, she married her husband on May 30, 2021.
“The couple lived in Rochester, Minnesota, where Betty worked as a diligent and capable hospital pharmacist while Connor went through Internal Medicine residency. Her kindness and intelligence was noticed and valued by friends and strangers alike,” the obituary said.
According to a statement to NBC News from Betty Bowman’s mother and family Tuesday night, she was a dedicated pharmacist who worked in the operating room pharmacy at the Mayo Clinic and was beloved by colleagues.
“Co-workers continue to speak positively about her which speaks loudly to show how she carried her positive energy both in her personal and professional life,” the statement said.
“She was always there, a reliable pillar of strength and a listening ear during times of joy and sorrow. She showed us the true meaning of love-selfless, unconditional, and boundless.”
Betty Bowman was also a mother to a Corgi, a foodie and world traveler, whose top destinations were Iceland and Hawaii, the statement said.
“Betty’s love was boundless, and it extended far beyond the confines of family and friends. Her warm smile, kind words, and caring actions left an indelible mark on our hearts. Betty had a passion for life that was infectious. She lived life to the fullest, embracing each day with enthusiasm and joy,” the statement said.
Court records show Bowman’s unconditional bond was set Monday at $5 million. A $2 million bond was also set with conditions of no use of alcohol or drugs, GPS monitoring and remaining in Minnesota unless he has written court approval.
Bowman, who apparently had not posted bond, remained at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center Tuesday, according to jail records.