Riviera Beach Police arrested a Florida man after he was spotted approaching teen girls, pacing and sweating, a week before he'd be accused of killing his estranged wife

By Elaine Aradillas
April 23, 2020 02:41 PM
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A week before police allege David Anthony killed his wife — whose body remains missing — he was arrested after allegedly approaching teen girls at a mall, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.

At about 10:30 p.m. on March 15, Anthony, 43, was spotted acting erratically at an outdoor plaza in Riviera Beach, Fla. He was allegedly “acting suspiciously by approaching young girls (approximately 15 years of age), pacing back and forth and sweating profusely,” the report stated.

An officer approached Anthony after he noticed black electrical tape placed over the man’s license plate to make a “6” look like an “8,” the report stated. Anthony allegedly told the officer his stepdaughter likely altered the plate because she enjoyed playing with tape.

Anthony then allegedly tried to reach into his vehicle for his license, but the officer drew his weapon and ordered him out of the vehicle and onto the ground. When another officer attempted to arrest Anthony, he slammed the door on the officer and struggled to get an “unknown object,” according to the affidavit.

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The officer ultimately handcuffed Anthony, who was charged with resisting an officer with violence.

Days later, on March 19, Gretchen Anthony went to work for the last time. After she was reported missing, Jupiter Police would learn that she was last seen by her husband on March 21, according to an arrest report obtained by PEOPLE.

Before her family reported her officially missing on March 26, friends of Gretchen, 51, told detectives they received “suspicious” text messages from her phone, which informed them she had an acute case of COVID-19 and was checking into a hospital. But friends could not find her at any local hospitals, they told police.

Investigating the missing woman’s home, police found towels with “a reddish substance on them that appeared to be blood” in the washing machine, as well as a fresh bleach stain on the garage floor, according to the report.

On March 31, about 1,900 miles away in Las Cruces, New Mexico, police arrested David Anthony, according to online court records. He is currently waiting to be extradited to Palm Beach County where he will be officially charged with second-degree murder and kidnapping, according to the affidavit.