Columbus, Ind.—A southern Indiana woman is denying that she murdered her estranged husband by poisoning his food. But investigators say a three year investigation shows that she gave her husband a deadly combination of morphine and muscle relaxants to collect his life insurance.
In August of 2007, Tami Duvall called 911 to report that she found her estranged husband Alan Duvall, dead in the backyard from what she explained as alcohol poisoning. Though that's how investigators approached the case, that's not what neighbors or relatives believed.
"We have heard stories since we moved in," said Brandon Wright, who moved in next door to Tami Duvall after the incident.
Wright says neighbors wasted no time telling him their belief that Tami had poisoned her husband next door and covered it up for insurance money. They based it on conversations they'd had with her estranged husband Alan Duvall before he died.
"He told them individually, 'If I die. Make sure it's investigated,'" Wright said.
That's exactly what neighbors did and they weren't alone. According to court papers Alan Duvall's cousin along with Tami's ex-husband and even her own daughter contacted investigators expressing concerns that Tami Duvall may have murdered her estranged husband.
They pointed to a $100,000 life insurance policy she took out just a month Alan's death, with the help of an insurance agent with whom investigators say she'd had an affair.
Then, when investigators took take a closer look at the autopsy, they discovered the presence of morphine and a muscle relaxer in his body. Each drug was found to exceed 80 times the maximum dose.
Some of the same drugs had gone missing from a nursing home where Tami worked. Investigators believe she slipped them into a homemade "dirt pudding" she served to Alan during what would become his last meal.
"Oh man, I guess the rumors were true," Brandon Wright said.
Brandon says he gave Tami the benefit of the doubt after the few times he had run into her. He says she even gave him some of her old furniture as she moved out.
"She was really friendly to my kids," Wright said. "She was really friendly to us."
But now he admits he has a hard time doubting the evidence.
"It definitely doesn't look good," he said.
According to a 59 page probable cause, In addition to murder, Tami Duvall also faces six counts of insurance fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice.