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Slain Woman Wrote Name of Estranged Husband in Blood on Her Leg, Police Say. He's Been Arrested in Her Death
After allegedly killing his wife Ashli Erhardt, John Wonder sent a series of disturbing messages to his sister and a friend, authorities say.
A Missouri man is accused of killing his estranged wife, then sending disturbing messages about the act to his sister and friend.
John Wonder, 31, was arrested Sept. 22 in connection with the death of his wife, Ashli Erhardt, who was found unresponsive and suffering puncture wounds in the couple’s basement laundry room. Wonder was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action, according to the arrest warrant.
Wonder and Erhardt both worked at the same place and earlier that day, their boss called 911 to request a welfare check on the couple’s home when they did not show up for work, per the probable cause statement. The employer knew that the couple were getting a divorce but were still living together.
Kansas City police met Erhardt’s parents and Wonder’s mother at the couple’s residence around 10:30 a.m. Friday after informing them of the welfare check.
According to court documents, police heard Erhardt’s father tell his wife to “go upstairs” after finding an unidentified female lying on the basement laundry room floor.
How was Ashlii Erhardt Killed?
After entering the basement, officers found what appeared to be a dead woman, later identified as Erhardt, with what appeared to be a belt wrapped around her neck,” per the probable cause statement. “She was nude from the waist down. ‘Wonder’ was written in blood on her leg. There was what appeared to be several puncture wounds to her left side with blood coming from the wounds. There was a large butcher knife and meat clever located just to the northwest of her body.”
Wonder was nowhere to be found. His sister informed police that she received a cryptic message from her brother the same day.
“Hey kiddo, sorry about the mess. For the record: it’s way easier and much more satisfying than you can imagine,” the message allegedly read.
A friend of Wonder’s also received a series of messages via Facebook, which detailed Wonder’s plan to discard his phone and drive North to Fargo, according to the probable cause statement.
About an hour later, he wrote, “Now depleted, in anger I placed her gemstones set next to her body. Her thirdeye shakra, her moonstone, blah blah blah – a lot of good they did you, hun.”
He told his friend he thought he would be caught that same day. “I keep thinking about how she never screamed. Just took it like a champ,” he allegedly wrote. “What a gal. To honor her. I will not go out by gunshot (suicide by cop) but by, hopefully a similar fate as Ashli.”
Wonder was arrested later Friday in Valentine, Nebraska, according to The Kansas City Star. He was roughly 500 miles away from Kansas City.
He is being held on a $1 million cash bond.
According to Wonder’s mother, the couple began dating sometime in 2016 or early 2017 and have two children together. The two started seeing a marriage counselor about a year ago, but ultimately decided to get a divorce. Erhardt was supposed to move out of the couple’s shared residence on Oct. 1.
“My heart is completely shattered,” Erhardt’s mother wrote on Facebook. “She is the beautiful young woman that gave us our beloved grandbabies, who are safe and in our care.”
“This little tiny boy, was told today that he would never see his mommy again,” she added about her grandchild, Erhardt’s son. “We will make sure she is remembered in our home every single minute of every single day."