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Idaho woman indicted for murder in connection to the 2018 death of her husband

Crime Watch

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Lori and Larry Isenberg | Facebook

COEUR D’ALENE — A grand jury indicted a northern Idaho woman for killing her husband by giving him a fatal dose of an over-the-counter medicine before dumping him into Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Laurcene “Lori” Barnes Isenberg is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge following nearly two years of investigation into the death of 68-year-old Larry Isenberg, who died in 2018. She’s been in the Kootenai County Jail on $2 million bail after being arrested at a federal prison last week.

Earlier reports show the Isenbergs launched their boat the cold morning of Feb. 13, 2018.

Isenberg called 911 to report her husband went overboard while attempting to fix the boat’s motor. She called two hours after the incident and said she left her cell phone onshore.

RELATED | Massive OD of Benadryl killed Coeur d’Alene man

The body of Larry Isenberg wasn’t found until March 1, 2018, and a subsequent autopsy showed he died from a drug overdose and not drowning.

Laurcene ‘Lori’ Barnes Isenberg | Kootenai County Jail

The one-page coroner’s report list the 68-year-old’s cause of death as diphenhydramine toxicity, the active ingredient in Benadryl. The drug is an antihistamine used to treat allergies. Diphenhydramine is known to cause drowsiness and is also used as a sleep aid.

According to a search warrant issued in Spokane County, Washington, obtained by The Coeur d’Alene Press, normal dosages of diphenhydramine are between 100 and 1,000 nanograms. Larry Isenberg was found to have 7,100 nanograms of the drug in his blood, a lethal dose.

Days before investigators found his body, authorities had arrested Lori Isenburg for stealing $579,495 from the North Idaho Housing Coalition through wire fraud and federal program theft. She pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court and in May 2019 began serving a five-year federal prison sentence for the crime.

Isenberg has not entered a plea in the case and was scheduled to do so at Tuesday’s arraignment. We will update this story following the hearing.

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