Police are investigating whether a husband charged with the murder of his wife may have killed her because of financial troubles after exaggerating his wealth.
David Tronnes, 50, was indicted on a first degree murder charge after he called police to his Orlando home in April claiming he had found his wife of only a year, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, dead in a half-full bathtub.
Friends of Tronnes claim he presented himself as a millionaire and it was his alleged wealth which helped to entice Cooper-Tronnes to marry him a year before he allegedly killed her at their home, according to Orlando Sentinel.
But his alleged lack of money is one of the lines of enquiry police are probing as a possible motive for the killing.
Wealth has been a key theme in the interviews in the aftermath of Cooper-Tronnes’ death in April. She was found dead in a bathtub at their home, with Tronnes’ claims that she slipped and died disputed by police.
A friend of the victim, Melissa Burzinski, told investigator: ‘Dave was doing things that was [ticking] her off as it pertains to money.’
He would also get ‘weird’ about paying for food, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Burzinski added: ‘He always talked about how he had a ton of money, but she couldn’t figure out why he was such a miser.’
There was confusion among neighbours as to what Tronnes did for a living, with one stating they thought he worked in sales. Another thought his wife was the main earner.
Others said Tronnes was usually at home, overseeing a renovation project at his home.
Cooper-Tronnes’ father, Kishian Matani, told detectives that he thought David Tronnes had inherited between $4 million and $6 million from his father. Matani told detectives;
Shanti told me that he inherited quite a bit.
But Norman Daugh, Cooper-Tronnes’ father-in-law, said it seemed she was always paying for things such as TVs and moving vans. When her mother was near death in December 2016, she asked Daugh about her mother’s life insurance policy, according to his interview. Daugh said he thought it was Tronnes who was most interested in the money.
‘It just was my gut feeling,’ Daugh said. ‘He always claimed he had millions, but Shanti bought everything.’
Police slammed Tronnes for ‘fake crying’ and his ‘hogwash’ account of how the 39-year-old died in newly released interview recordings.
During his interview with police, he suggested his wife slipped and fell while trying to get in the bath – though an autopsy showed she had died of strangulation and blunt-force trauma to the head.
When police arrived, they found the bathtub and Cooper-Tronnes’ body were both dry.
Detective Teresa Sprague is heard in an audio recording, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, telling Tronnes his story did not match any of the evidence at the scene.
Credits: Daily Mail