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A Danish priest has been arrested for killing his wife after investigators found a series of disturbing internet searches on the couple’s computer.
Thomas Gotthard, 44, is facing murder charges in the death of his wife, Maria From Jakobsen, after Prosecutor Anne-Mette Seerup said authorities determined the evidence against him was “sufficiently weighty to be able to prosecute” despite never finding a body in the case, according to the Associated Press.
Investigators grew suspicious after discovering hydrochloric acid and caustic soda in the couple’s home in Frederikssund. They also discovered internet searches on the couple’s computer for words like “sea depth” “oil barrels” “suicide” “disappeared” and “cleaning,” authorities said. The searches were reportedly made after Maria had disappeared, according to DE24 News.
Gotthard told authorities his wife, a 43-year-old psychologist, disappeared on Oct. 26 after leaving their house in a depressed state of mind.
Her sister reported her missing three days later when she failed to show up for the birthday party of one of the couple’s two children.
Police discovered the 43-year-old had left her personal belongings behind, including her phone, computer and credit cards.
Eleven days after she disappeared, investigators said Gotthard was captured on surveillance footage moving a large barrel at a recycling station and carrying a handcart, DE24 News reports. The blue bin had been wrapped in clear plastic.
As the search for the missing woman’s body continues, investigators have extensively searched a forest and lake in the area and have asked anyone who may have seen the family’s two cars and a trailer around the time she disappeared to contact authorities.
Gotthard, a Lutheran priest, is currently in police custody and has denied any wrongdoing in the case. His trial is slated to begin Oct. 25.
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