• Family and friends of Gretchen Anthony said they started receiving strange texts from her two days after she was last seen at her home in Jupiter, Florida
  • The texts said she had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was receiving treatment, but none of the local hospitals had any record of her
  • The texts preceded the arrest of Gretchen Anthony's estranged husband, David Anthony, in New Mexico on March 31

Police in Florida shared details Friday on texts that led to the arrest of a man in New Mexico for allegedly kidnapping and killing his estranged wife, whose body has yet to be found.

The Jupiter Police Department said friends and family of missing resident Gretchen Anthony started receiving texts from her phone on March 23. The texts said Anthony hadn’t spoken to anyone in a few days because she had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in isolation. The next day, relatives received another text saying Anthony had “acute” COVID-19 and was being sent to “a CDC approved task force in Belle Glade.”

Police said there was no “task force” in Belle Glade.

Relatives said the last text was sent on March 26 and said Anthony was being placed on a ventilator.

Police said Anthony’s relatives approached investigators with the texts to share their concerns about her wellbeing. Anthony’s family had called several Jupiter hospitals to check on her, but there was no one being treated under Anthony’s name. Her family then told investigators about Anthony’s separation from her husband, David Anthony.

Police tried to contact David Anthony on March 25 to question him about the state of his relationship with his estranged wife, but were unable to reach him. Police said investigators were sent to David Anthony’s presumed residence, but were met by a woman whose name hasn’t been released.

She told police Anthony had left the day before with his dog, telling her he was moving to Costa Rica. She said she also received texts from Gretchen Anthony’s phone asking her to watch her cats while in quarantine.

Gretchen Anthony was last seen at her home March 20. Neighbors told police they had heard “blood curdling screams” coming from her home and had seen a black pickup truck parked outside. Police said the neighbors’ home security footage showed David Anthony driving the pickup truck with several items in its bed covered by a tarp. Another neighbor told police they noticed water and a “white chemical” running out to the street from the house’s garage.

Police said theysearched Gretchen Anthony’s home March 26 and found evidence of a struggle, along with cleaning materials and rags in the kitchen, towels in the washing machine with what “appeared to be blood” and large bleach stains in the garage.

The same day as the search, a blue Mini Cooper belonging to Gretchen Anthony was towed from the Jupiter Medical Center parking lot. Police said surveillance footage showed the car being parked outside the medical center on March 24 by a “tall, white man with dark hair” who left the area on foot.

Police said David Anthony is 6-foot-7.

Police said they contacted David Anthony on March 30, but investigators did not share the details of the phone call. He was subsequently arrested on March 31 after police pinged his and Gretchen Anthony’s phones in New Mexico.

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Pictured is a police cordon that surrounds the scene of a house fire in Sycamore Lane, Stafford, on Feb. 6, 2019 in England. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images