Indiana Man Charged with Murder of Cancer Survivor Wife After She Files for Divorce Over His Affair

An Indiana man has been charged with the murder of his breast cancer survivor wife who filed for legal separation after learning he was having an affair while she was undergoing chemotherapy.

Elizabeth "Nikki" Wilhoite, 41, was killed after her husband, Andrew Wilhoite, struck her with a cement flowerpot last week, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Andrew Admitted to Dumping Elizabeth's Body in a Creek

Elizabeth 'Nikki' Wilhoite and Andrew Wilhoite
Elizabeth 'Nikki' Wilhoite and Andrew Wilhoite Facebook

Elizabeth, who reportedly charged at her husband during a confrontation about his alleged affair, fell to the ground after being struck.

Andrew, 39, told investigators he "didn't know what to do," so he put Nikki's body in his truck and dumped it in a creek near their farm in Lebanon.

The Boone County Coroner ruled Nikki's death a homicide on Sunday following her autopsy and Andrew was charged with murder on Monday, court records reveal. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for an initial hearing.

The exact cause of death is still pending as the coroner awaits test results.

Andrew Initially Told Cops Elizabeth was Missing

The investigation into Elizabeth's death started on Friday after her co-workers at Indiana Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery reported that she did not show up for work, which they said was unlike her. During the initial call to authorities, one co-worker claimed Nikki "was having issues with her husband" and had recently "filed for divorce," The Daily Beast reported.

When officers arrived at the Wilhoite residence, they were greeted by their three children, who said Elizabeth was not home and they had been unable to reach her. As police prepared to leave the farm, Andrew "pulled into the driveway in a blue tractor" and told police his wife was missing.

Elizabeth 'Nikki' Wilhoite and Andrew Wilhoite
Elizabeth 'Nikki' Wilhoite and Andrew Wilhoite Facebook

According to the affidavit, "Andrew stated that they had a pretty good fight last night, and she was drunk." He also allegedly pointed to scratch marks on his neck, suggesting they were evidence of the nasty altercation between the couple.

The accused murderer then proceeded to tell police his wife spent Thursday night sleeping on the couch and that he did not see her the next morning when he left to "haul corn." He also alleged that Elizabeth had withdrawn $3,000 from their joint bank account. He added that he feared his wife's disappearance was "drug-related."

However, police claim Andrew's apparent lies began to unravel after officers spoke to Elizabeth's father, Thomas Richards, who confirmed she withdrew money on March 18 because "she was going to have to divorce Andrew."

Elizabeth hired a lawyer and submitted a petition for legal separation in Boone County Circuit Court on March 18. The victim's father also told police he suspected Andrew had done something to Elizabeth.

Andrew Confessed After Police Found Traces of Blood

Elizabeth 'Nikki' Wilhoite and Andrew Wilhoite
Elizabeth 'Nikki' Wilhoite and Andrew Wilhoite Facebook

When police searched the Wilhoite's property, they discovered blood on bed sheets and a pillow in the master bedroom, as well as "small droplets on and around the door and inside the master bathroom on the sink."

Indiana State Police were called to assist with the investigation and interviewed Andrew, during which he reportedly confessed to the affair, claiming Elizabeth "had taken the news hard." He told investigators that the couple had agreed to work through his infidelity, alleging they planned to start going to counseling in May, and that he was blindsided by his wife's request for a divorce.

Later during that interrogation, Andrew also admitted to killing Elizabeth after she had begun yelling at him about the affair, started physically attacking him and ordered him to leave the family home.

He confessed to throwing Elizabeth out of the front door of the house and striking her in the face with the flowerpot. He then threw her body over the wall of a bridge and into the nearby creek, police said.

When asked if Elizabeth was still breathing when he dumped her in the water, Andrew said he didn't know because he did not bother to check but did not recall her "groaning or moving at all." Indiana State Police found Elizabeth's body partially submerged in three feet of water at 3am on Saturday.

Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall and the couple often used social media to document her health profess. On March 18, Andrew posted a photo of Elizabeth along with the caption, "This lady just finished her last round of chemo today... very proud of you."