LaPorte County, IN – A man who murdered his wife on her last day of chemotherapy treatment won the GOP primary for a seat on the Clinton Township Board from jail on Tuesday.
Co-workers called 911 to report the cancer survivor missing and Boone County Sheriff’s Office investigators launched an investigation.
Deputies searched the area with bloodhounds and asked for the public’s help via social media, WLFI reported.
But when deputies learned that the missing woman was the daughter-in-law of Boone County Councilwoman Marcia Wilhoite, the sheriff’s department requested that the state police step in and take over to avoid any conflict of interest, Gray News reported.
Court records showed that Nikki Wilhoite had filed for divorce from her husband, 39-year-old Andrew Wilhoite, on March 17, one week prior to her disappearance, KCRG reported.
The divorce filing showed that the couple had children together.
Court records showed the children had been trying to contact their mother whose purse, cellphone, and vehicle were all found at the Wilhoite home located in the 4000-block of North County Road 175 East, The Lebanon Reporter reported.
Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Fouts responded to the Wilhoite home and Andrew Wilhoite pulled up in a tractor a few minutes later, according to the police report.
Deputy Fouts noticed that Andrew Wilhoite’s neck was scratched up, and the farmer told him that he and his wife had had a fight the prior night when she found out he was having an affair, The Lebanon Reporter reported.
Andrew Wilhoite said Nikki Wilhoite attacked him in their bedroom and then spent the night on the couch in another room.
Court records showed that ISP investigators found blood in the couple’s bedroom and bathroom, according to The Lebanon Reporter.
During an interview with investigators at the Boone County jail, Andrew Wilhoite told police a different story.
He said that his wife yelled at him to get out of the house and he had pushed her out of the residence instead.
The arrest affidavit for Andrew Wilhoite said he told detectives that his wife charged him on their front porch and he hit her in the face with a gallon-sized concrete flower pot filled with dirt, The Lebanon Reporter reported.
ISP Detective Adam Buell said Andrew Wilhoite said he didn’t know what to do with her body so he put it in his truck.
“Andrew was asked if Elizabeth was still breathing, and Andrew stated he didn’t know because he didn’t check,” according to the arrest affidavit. “… Andrew described that he drove to a bridge over the creek and threw her over the wall and into the creek.”
Investigators said Andrew Wilhoite dumped the broken flower pot on the side on U.S. 52 the next morning, The Lebanon Reporter reported.
ISP said the woman’s body was found partially submerged in about three feet of water at 3 a.m. on March 26, exactly where her husband told detectives it would be, Gray News reported.
Troopers arrested Andrew Wilhoite for his wife’s murder just before 4 a.m. on March 26 and booked him into the Boone County Jail.
“All signs point to that she died at home,” Boone County Prosecutor Kent Eastwood said. “Nothing indicates that she drowned.”
Andrew Wilhoite was charged with first-degree murder and held without bond pending trial, The Washington Post reported.
If convicted, he is facing up to life in prison and possibly the death penalty.
But that didn’t stop him from running for office on the primary ballot on May 3, The Washington Post reported.
Election data showed the Andrew Wilhoite received 60 votes in the Republican primary for three open seats on the Clinton Township Board.
The other two GOP contenders got 100 and 106 votes, but there were no Democrats on the ballot to oppose the three Republican winners in November, The Washington Post reported.
That means that if Andrew Wilhoite has not yet been convicted, he’ll be elected.
However, the alleged wife killer is scheduled to go to trial for Nikki Wilhoite’s murder in late August, The Washington Post reported.
If he is convicted, Andrew Wilhoite’s name will be removed from the November ballot in accordance with state law.