A 67-year-old Iowa man killed his wife of 42 years hours before she would have learned about financial woes he was hiding from her, according to authorities.
Roy Browning Jr. was arrested for first-degree murder on Monday night in connection with the fatal stabbing of 65-year-old JoEllen Browning earlier this year in the quiet college town of Iowa City.
Investigators found that JoEllen Browning had been asking her husband about discrepancies in their bank accounts in the days leading up to the April slaying. She was scheduled to meet with the family's financial representative an hour after she was reported dead.
"JoEllen was preparing for tax season and had found some problems with Roy and JoEllen's accounts..." read the criminal complaint obtained by the Iowa City Press Citizen. "The representative was prepared to tell JoEllen at this meeting that one of their savings accounts was depleted and Roy had taken out out loans of which JoEllen was not aware."
Authorities also wrote in the complaint that JoEllen Browning's retirement and life insurance policy was worth "in excess of $2 million," according to the Press Citizen.
Roy Browning called 911 on the morning of April 5 to say that he found his wife unresponsive on the bedroom floor. An autopsy found that she had been stabbed in the front and back of her torso and left hand. No signs of forced entry were found.
Investigators recovered blood on the victim's nail clippings that showed a mixture of DNA belonging to her and her husband.
"The probability of finding (Roy Browning's) profile in a population of unrelated individuals, chosen at random, would be less than 1 out of 310 trillion," according to an affidavit obtained by the Gazette.
Roy Browning has denied involvement in the murder. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, and was being held on $5 million bond.
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