A New York City man was arrested after allegedly admitting to killing and dismembering his wife at their vacation home in France after a heated argument.
French prosecutors charged Billy Kruger, a U.S. national, with murdering his wife, 52-year-old Laure Bardina-Kruger. Authorities allege he stabbed his wife twice, then left her body near a rainwater drain not far from the couple’s vacation home in the seaside village of Peyriac-de-Mer, according to the Agence France Presse.
Kruger was apprehended Friday at an airport in Toulouse just as he was about to board a plane, according to the AFP. The couple had been living in Indonesia in recent years.
Prosecutor Marie-Angès Joly told the news outlet Kruger confessed to stabbing his wife, but told investigators that he had been acting in self-defense.
Kruger allegedly stabbed his wife after a heated argument near the end of the couple’s two-month vacation in the south of France, British outlet The Mirror reports.
The 52-year-old’s dismembered body was discovered in the gutter after her family became concerned that they couldn’t reach her.
“The victim’s father sounded the alert after his daughter did not turn up for a family reunion in Carcassonne,” an investigative source told The Mirror. “She was due to say goodbye to everybody before the couple returned to Jakarta.”
Bardina-Kruger taught French in Jakarta, where she lived with Kruger—who worked as a dive instructor, according to The Associated Press.
In addition to her post at the Jakarta Intercultural School, Bardina-Kruger had also previously taught in Shanghai, Cairo and Hawaii, the Mirror reports.
The couple was last seen at a restaurant together Thursday night, just hours before authorities believe the 52-year-old was killed.
A friend of the couple—who wasn’t identified—told the news outlet there “really weren’t any warning signs” of impending violence between the couple.
Those sentiments were also echoed by Bardina-Kruger’s brother in a post on Facebook.
“We don’t know yet what happened, but we never got any alarm signal from Laure regarding violent acts against her by her husband,” Pierre Bardina wrote. “You always think this can only happen to other people, but violence against women can happen all of a sudden.”
The post also referenced the couple’s son, Maximus, who is now left suddenly without a mother.
A friend told The Mirror the couple’s son had already returned to Jakarta before his mother’s death.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.