An Iowa man who killed his wife of 40 years vanished Friday just before a jury could announce his guilty verdict.
Gregory Allen Showalter, 63, was issued an arrest warrant after he failed to show up to the final day of his trial in Ottumwa, a city roughly 90 miles southeast of Des Moines.
The fugitive has since shut off his cellphone and cut off his GPS ankle monitor.
Showalter should be considered “armed and dangerous,” the state Department of Public Safety warned.
He had been out on bail since August 2021, when a judge allowed him to post 10% of his $250,000 bond as long as he attended court hearings and wore the ankle monitor, the Ottumwa Courier reported.
Showalter was charged in August 2021 with the murder of his wife, 60-year-old Helen Showalter, just days after her body was found floating in the Des Moines River.
Prosecutors said the two were in the midst of a divorce when Showalter lured Helen onto a job site, where he strangled her to death.
After returning home, he told family he and Helen had gotten into a fight and he left her to walk home before sending them out to look for her.
Traces of her blood were later found in his car, which he used to transport her body to the river.
The killer reportedly left his home Friday on foot after passing ownership of his car to a friend.
He “made a comment about not needing those keys anymore,” the woman told officers.
Police deployed a trained tracking canine in a wooded area. The dog followed a track to the Stardust Motel, about 1,000 feet from his residence, but wasn’t able to locate Showalter, according to the Ottumwa Courier.
While police searched for Showalter, the judge ordered that the verdict be read, citing Iowa court rules in cases where a person on trial is voluntarily absent.
The jury found Showalter guilty of first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, willful injury causing serious injury and domestic abuse assault by strangulation or impeding blood circulation.
He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole if he is found by authorities.
The daring escape comes just three days after a Louisiana fugitive was dragged back to the US from Mexico after spending 32 years on the lam.
Greg Lawson, 63, fled on eerily similar circumstances — he disappeared the same day a jury was prepared to read a guilty verdict for the attempted murder of his lifelong friend.
Lawson was seen laughing as police placed him back in cuffs.
The post Iowa killer skips town day jury finds him guilty of murdering his wife of 40 years appeared first on New York Post.