ROCHESTER, Minn. — A 30-year-old Mayo Clinic physician who is accused of fatally poisoning his wife this summer is being held on $2 million bail after appearing before a judge in Olmsted County District Court.
Connor Fitzgerald Bowman is charged with felony second-degree murder with intent but not premeditated. Judge Lisa Hayne ordered that he be held on $2 million bail provided he consent to GPS monitoring and not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances. Hayne also ordered that Bowman, who has been in custody in the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center since Friday, can be released on $5 million bail without conditions.
His wife, Betty Bowman, died on Aug. 20 after she went to an emergency room days earlier complaining of diarrhea and dehydration.
The couple lived in Rochester, where Betty worked as a hospital pharmacist while Connor completed an internal medicine residency. Both worked at the Mayo Clinic.
“We are aware of the recent arrest of a former Mayo Clinic resident on charges unrelated to his Mayo Clinic responsibilities. The resident’s training at Mayo Clinic ended earlier this month,” Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Amanda Dyslin said.
The two married in 2021 in Independence, Mo., according to her obituary .
“Her kindness and intelligence was noticed and valued by friends and strangers alike,” part of her obituary reads.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 1.
According to the criminal complaint:
The Rochester Police Department was notified Aug. 21 by the Southeast Minnesota Medical Examiner’s Office of a suspicious death. Betty Bowman was scheduled to be cremated, but that was halted after the examiner’s office learned of possible suspicious circumstances.
She was admitted to a hospital with severe gastrointestinal distress and dehydration on Aug. 16, and her condition rapidly deteriorated.
A woman called the medical examiner’s office and said that Betty and her husband were having marital issues and were talking about filing for divorce due to infidelity issues.
Her symptoms were similar to those of food poisoning, but she did not respond to standard treatments and continued to deteriorate while at the hospital. She experienced cardiac issues, fluid in her lungs, and eventually organ failure. She was taken into surgery after it was discovered that part of her colon was necrotic, with dead tissue.
Connor Bowman suggested to doctors while his wife was hospitalized that she was suffering from hematophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a rare autoimmune disease in which white blood cells attack organs.
He told multiple people she died from this disease despite testing from his wife coming back inconclusive for it. He also included it in her obituary.
He told the medical examiner that she should be cremated immediately and argued that her death was natural. He also attempted to cancel the autopsy and asked investigators if the toxicology analysis would be more thorough than usual.
Connor Bowman worked in poison control in Kansas.
According to the complaint, the couple had separate bank accounts due to debt and he was going to receive $500,000 in life insurance following her death.
A witness told law enforcement that Betty Bowman said she had been drinking with Connor Bowman on Aug. 15 and she was feeling sick the next morning. She told her friend that she believed the drink, a large smoothie, had caused the illness.
A detective found that Connor Bowman had looked at his wife’s medical information while she was in the hospital.
A laptop from the University of Kansas that was owned by Connor Bowman was searched by the university, which found internet searches for colchicine, a drug used to treat gout. There were also several internet searches related to hiding information from police on the laptop, as well as a search for where to obtain sodium nitrate, a drug used to restrict oxygen in the bloodstream.
Connor Bowman also searched for and found the lethal dosage of colchicine for his wife’s weight, according to the report. Police also found that he had purchased colchicine online.
A toxicology report listed colchicine as a substance in Betty Bowman’s system. She did not suffer from any ailments that would require the drug.
He was arrested on Oct. 20. Police found a receipt for a bank deposit of $450,000 in his residence.
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