An Iowa man who police allege learned that his wife had had a pair of affairs behind his back is accused of killing her, PEOPLE learns from investigators, who contend the murder happened soon after the victim noted “if he catches me” cheating, “he might make me disappear.”
A Delaware County Sheriff’s Office spokesman tells PEOPLE Todd Mullis, 42, of Earlville, has been formally charged with the November 10, 2018, murder of his wife, 39-year-old Amy Mullis, who was impaled with a corn rake.
According to police, Mullis insisted his wife fell on the sharp farming tool while she was helping out with chores on their land. But medical examiners found six puncture wounds and noted the rake was four-pronged.
In the months following her death, authorities learned that Amy had opened up to friends about the couple’s years-long marital issues. She said the love was lost in their union, and told friends she worried her husband could kill her.
She told one friend that if she ever vanished, “you’ll know Todd did something to me,” the spokesman confirms.
Mullis called 911 the day his wife died. He told police that their son found her hunched over, impaled on the corn rake.
He told police he removed the rake and started driving his wife to the hospital. At some point, they were met by an ambulance, who rushed Amy to the emergency room, where she was declared dead.
Through their investigation, police learned the couple’s marital problems began in 2013, when Todd caught Amy cheating.
Married in 2004, the couple had three children. Five months before the murder, they stopped sharing the same bed.
While Todd told detectives the relationship was fine, police eventually learned a second lover was discovered last summer.
That man allegedly told police Amy had said she wanted to leave her husband but was “scared to death” of him, the spokesman says. “If he catches me, he might make me disappear,” she told him.
A review of Todd’s iPad allegedly revealed searches for “organs in the body” as well as “killing unfaithful women” and “what happened to cheating spouses in historic Aztec tribes,” says the spokesman.
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Todd is being held on $5 million cash bail.
He’ll be asked to plead to the charge at a hearing set for March 8.
PEOPLE was unable to determine if Mullis has hired an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Mullis faces life in prison if convicted.