Prosecutors believe the death in mid-April may stem from poisonous mushrooms.
The victim’s body was found along a ditch on Overdorf Road nearly three days after he was last known to be alive. The discovery was made by a woman walking along the road.
The victim was quickly identified as David Fouts, but figuring out what led up to his death proved difficult.
According to court records, Fouts had cuts on his hands and duct tape residue on his wrists and ankles, but after a lengthy investigation the most likely cause of death was a lethal dose of mushroom chunks in his stomach.
Although a toxicology report proved inconclusive, a botanist at Purdue told prosecutors it wasn’t surprising that a mushroom toxin known as muscarine was not detected, noting muscarine has a half-life of about eight hours and is usually undetectable by 72 hours.
While no motive was ever given for the death, last week prosecutors charged the victim’s wife Katrina Fouts with murder, conspiracy and failure to report a corpse.
Investigators claim they found a screenshot on her phone with information on deadly mushrooms and insist she made no effort to contact her husband for several days after his disappearance.
A family friend, Terry Hopkins, is also charged with aiding in the murder. Hopkins formerly worked as a police officer in Richmond.
Prosecutors maintain they found DNA evidence on the victim’s shirt tying Hopkins to the death.
Even though murder charges have been filed, anyone with information on the case is still encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers or the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.