A Nebraska man was arrested and charged with assisted suicide after his girlfriend reportedly told him she had stage four cancer.
Forty-one-year-old Matthew Stubbendieck took authorities to the woods where 38-year-old Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan cut her own wrists. But as the NY Daily News reports, an autopsy showed that her body showed no signs of cancer.
Wilemon-Sullivan reportedly told her boyfriend that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes of her neck, armpit and stomach, per court records. The autopsy showed that she didn’t have any cancer or tumors in her body. According to an affidavit in Cass County, Wilemon-Sullivan visited her boyfriend in July and planned on committing suicide because she said that "she wanted to die in his arms."
The couple reportedly went to Acapulco Lake, where they stayed for several hours as Wilemon-Sullivan tried to kill herself. Authorities said Stubbendieck tried to suffocate his girlfriend twice, but stopped because she appeared to be suffering. he left her that night and came back to find her dead with self-inflicted wounds.
Stubbendieck said he initially promised his girlfriend not to tell anyone about her death for several months but he contacted the police three days later as the secret was “destroying his family."
Investigators found Stubbendieck's phone had calls and text messages with discussions with Wilemon-Sullivan, where the plan for her to visit him in Nebraska to die was spoken about. Her parents want him prosecuted “to the fullest extent allowable under Nebraska law." His family, defends his actions. "She was so sick from the cancer, she didn't want to live anymore, she couldn't take the pain," his father, Howard, said. "I assume it was love."
There are still many questions in the incident. The cause of death in a final autopsy report is undetermined. Lt. Larry Burke told the Omaha World-Herald, that although the victim's autopsy didn't find cancer, the evidence didn’t conclusively prove she was cancer-free, either.
[Photo: Cass County Sheriff, Family photo]