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Poison Specialist Doctor Accused of Giving Wife Fatal Medicine Dose Allegedly Had New Girlfriend Over Days Later

Just three days after his wife died, Connor Bowman allegedly had a girlfriend at his home and had already taken down photos of his wife, according to applications for search warrants.

By Gina Salamone
A police handout of Connor Bowman

New details have emerged in the case of a Minnesota doctor who worked in poison control and was charged last month with murdering his wife, who died after ingesting a fatal dose of liquid gout medication.

Connor Fitzgerald Bowman was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Betty Jo Bowman, who died at a Rochester hospital on August 20, four days after being admitted with "severe gastrointestinal distress and dehydration where her condition deteriorated rapidly," according to a statement of probable cause.

RELATED: Doctor Who Specialized in Poison Jailed for Allegedly Giving Wife Fatal Gout Medicine Dose

A female friend called the Medical Examiner’s office after Betty's death to share that the couple "were having marital issues and were talking about a divorce following infidelity and a deteriorating relationship," the probable cause affidavit stated.

Despite allegedly being in an open relationship, the Bowmans had a pact to not become emotionally attached to other partners, according to Rochester Police Department applications for search warrants that were obtained by Law&Crime.

A personal photo of Betty Bowman

Did Connor Bowman have a girlfriend?

Friends told investigators that Bowman had grown close to a new girlfriend, prompting Betty to address this with him and suggest that they get divorced, according to the search warrant applications cited by Law&Crime. A friend added that when she visited Bowman at his home just three days after his wife died, his girlfriend was there and pictures of Betty had already been taken down.

The applications for search warrants also state that one friend told authorities that Bowman made Betty a smoothie while she was visiting the couple, about 10 days before Betty died, according to Minneapolis NBC affiliate station KARE. Making a smoothie for Betty was out of character for Bowman, the friend noted.

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Betty asked her friend to taste the drink, and the friend thought the smoothie had a bitter taste and cracked, "Connor must be trying to poison her," the search warrant applications state. Betty agreed that was a possibility and trashed the rest of the drink, according to KARE.

Betty Jo Bowman was "drinking at home" with Connor Bowman before falling ill

A male identified as "SS" in the probable cause affidavit told detectives that on August 14, Betty told him she was off from work for a few days and wanted to spend some time with him. SS and Betty met up on August 15 and then exchanged text messages that night, with Betty telling SS she was "drinking at home with Bowman."

"The next morning, Victim messaged SS stating that she was sick and could not sleep at all, because she felt so ill," the affidavit states. "Victim reported that she thought it was a drink she had received that caused her illness because it was mixed in a large smoothie."

She was admitted to the hospital on August 16, where she died four days later.

The medical examiner’s office said that Betty's initial symptoms were similar to food poisoning and
so, she was treated for that. "Victim did not respond to standard medical procedures and continued to deteriorate rapidly," the statement of probable cause reads. "Victim experienced cardiac issues, fluid in her lungs, and eventually organ failure. Victim was taken in for surgery to remove a portion of her colon after it was discovered it contained necrotic tissue."

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While Betty was in the hospital, her husband suggested she was suffering from the rare illness, Hemophagocytic
lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Tests were conducted for HLH, but were inconclusive. Regardless, Bowman told several people that his wife died of HLH, and even listed the illness as Betty's cause of death in her obituary.

Bowman also told the medical examiner’s office to cremate his wife as soon as possible and said her death "was natural," according to the affidavit. He also allegedly tried to call off the autopsy, saying his wife "did not want to be a cadaver."

Over email, Bowman asked a death investigator with the medical examiner's office if toxicology analysis on his wife "would be more thorough than the analysis typically done at the hospital," the affidavit states. "Bowman also asked for a list of what was specifically going to be tested for."

Bowman went to pharmacy school, worked in poison control in Kansas, and was enrolled in medical
school at the time of his wife's death, according to authorities. The couple kept separate bank accounts because Bowman had debt, she'd told others, according to the affidavit.  

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A female told police that Bowman had told her he would get $500,000 in life insurance as a result of his wife dying.

The medical examiner found Betty's cause of death to be toxic effects of colchicine — a drug used to treat gout, and the same drug that someone from the University of Kansas reported that Bowman had been conducting internet searches for — and that her manner of death was homicide.

Bowman was arrested on October 20. During a search of his home, police found a receipt for a $450,000 bank deposit.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Bowman faces a maximum sentence of 40 years. He's due to appear in court on January 18, 2024 for an omnibus hearing, according to court records. He did not enter a plea while appearing in court last month.

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