Missouri Man Accused Of Strangling Hospitalized Wife To Death

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A Missouri man is accused of fatally strangling his wife to death in a hospital because he was depressed over her mounting hospital bills.

Missouri man strangles hospital-bound wife

Ronnie Wiggs reportedly confessed to law enforcement that he was responsible for his wife’s death, who had been in the hospital for a dialysis port placement.

“He said he choked her and covering [sic] her nose and mouth to keep her from screaming,” a press release from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office detailed about the crime.

According to a statement from the Independence Police Department (IPD), Wiggs choked his spouse out until she was rendered unconscious, then fled from the hospital.

“Staff found the victim unresponsive and started lifesaving measures. They were able to get a pulse and transported the victim to the ICU. The victim ultimately passed away,” the IPD disclosed.

Hospital staff found the victim at around 8:30 p.m. last Friday, and were able to were able to get her heart to beat with resuscitation efforts. She was then transferred to the intensive care unit.

When the hospital contacted Wiggs about the incident, he claimed to have car troubles that prevented him from coming to see her. They alternately called his son, who was able to give his father a ride.

Seeing his wife unconscious and on a ventilator was apparently too much for Wiggs, who confessed to strangling her as soon as he walked into her hospital room.

“I did it, I killed her, I choked her,” he reportedly admitted.

When the the medical staff heard the admission of guilt, the noticed the injuries on her neck and contacted police. Wiggs was arrested for assault, which soon turned to murder charge, when his wife was taken off of life support the next day due to being brain dead.

Wiggs kept talking after his initial confession; he told the IPD that he had already attempted to kill his wife twice before he was finally successful.

On one occasion at a rehabilitation center, he stopped strangling her after she regained consciousness and pleaded with him to let her live. During the second attempt, the array of monitors attached to her reportedly thwarted his mission to kill her.

Wiggs purportedly told police that “he was depressed and killed the victim because he could not take care of her anymore and he could not pay the medical bills that had been acquired,” according to a statement.

“He said he choked her and covering [sic] her nose and mouth to keep her from screaming,” the statement detailed.

Wigs was charged with second-degree murder and is currently being detained on $250,000 bond.

Missouri man arrested for decades old cold case

In another shocking case in the same state, a Missouri man was arrested for the 1966 murder by stabbing of an 18-year-old woman from Illinois.

Karen Snider’s lifeless body was discovered by her husband in their Calumet City residence on Nov. 12, 1966, with 125 stab wounds across her body, accompanied by bruises and multiple broken ribs.

On the night of Snider’s murder, James Barbier returned to his wife and child in Gary, Indiana, and was covered in blood and cuts, according to his spouse.

Barbier, who was a friend of the couple and had the gall to attend his alleged victim’s funeral, was apprehended in 1966 for Snider’s murder but was never charged with the crime.

In 2022, the Calumet City Police Department reopened the cold case, submitting items from the crime scene, including Snider’s dress and a bloodied bed sheet, for forensic analysis. Results conclusively matched Barbier’s DNA, which secured by detectives in March 2023 through a buccal swab.

Following the issuance of an arrest warrant last week, Barbier was apprehended at his residence in Missouri on Monday and extradited to Illinois by Wednesday.

In light of Barbier’s advanced age and physical condition, coupled with recent legal precedents regarding the Pretrial Fairness Act and assessments of “a real and present threat,” the state has opted not to detain him pending trial.

“However, we are asking for maximum conditions that would include reporting in person, as well as to be physically present at each of his court dates,” the Cook County State Attorney’s office noted.

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