Indiana husband is accused of killing breast cancer survivor wife and dumping her body in a creek after she discovered his philandering
Andrew Wilhoite, 39, has been charged with the homicide of his wife after he allegedly struck her in the face with a flowerpot
Elizabeth ‘Nikki’ Wilhoite filed for divorce from Andrew Wilhoite on March 17, just one week before she went missing
Nikki Wilhoite, 41, had a row with her husband [Andrew Wilhoite], after finding out that he’d been having an affair while she underwent chemotherapy
Andrew then allegedly dumped Nikki’s body in a creek near their family home in Lebanon, Ind.
He confessed to throwing Nikki out of the front door of the house and striking her in the face with the flowerpot
Andrew told investigators after he struck Nikki, he ‘didn’t know what to do,’ so he put her body in his truck and dumped it in a creek near their home
A philandering Indiana man has been charged with the murder of his breast cancer survivor wife who had sought a divorce after learning he had an affair while she underwent chemotherapy.
Elizabeth ‘Nikki’ Wilhoite, 41, was killed after her husband, Andrew Wilhoite, 39, struck her with a gallon-size cement flowerpot last week, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Nikki, who reportedly charged at her husband during a confrontation about his alleged affair, fell to the ground after being struck.
Andrew told investigators he ‘didn’t know what to do,’ so he put Nikki’s body in his truck and dumped it in a creek near their farm in Lebanon.
The Boone County Coroner ruled Nikki’s death a homicide on Sunday following her autopsy and Andrew was charged with murder on Monday, with an initial court hearing set for Tuesday.
However, Nikki’s exact cause of death is still pending as the corner awaits test results.
Police began investigating Nikki’s death on Friday after her co-workers at Indiana Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery reported that the mother-of-two and stepmom-of-one did not show up for work.
During the initial call to authorities, one co-worker claimed Nikki ‘was having issues with her husband’. Court records show that Elizabeth Wilhoite filed for divorce from Andrew Wilhoite on March 17, just one week before she went missing.
‘It was not like Elizabeth not to show up for work,’ the colleague told police.
When officers arrived at the Wilhoite family home, they were greeted by the three children who indicated Nikki was not home and they had been unable to reach her.
‘Elizabeth might be with her sister,’ Nikki’s stepdaughter told police, adding: ‘Elizabeth leaves when she gets upset.’
As police prepared to leave the farm, Andrew ‘pulled into the driveway in a blue tractor’ and informed police his wife was missing.
According to the affidavit, ‘Andrew stated that they had a pretty good fight last night, and she was drunk.’
He also allegedly pointed to scratch marks on his neck, suggesting they were evidence of the encounter between the couple.
Andrew told investigators after he struck Nikki, he ‘didn’t know what to do,’ so he put her body in his truck and dumped it in a creek near their home on farm in Lebanon, Indiana.
The accused murderer then proceeded to tell police his wife spent Thursday night sleeping on the couch and that he did not see her the next morning when he left to ‘haul corn.’
‘Andrew stated that he was laying in the bed and Elizabeth was flipping out,’ the affidavit alleged.
‘Andrew advised that it is not the first time that an incident like this has occurred. Andrew Wilhoite stated that he’s done things to Elizabeth that he shouldn’t have before.’
The father-of-three also alleged that Nikki had withdrawn $3,000 from their joint bank account and ‘had a lawyer and was filing for divorce.’
Andrew then advised police he feared ‘maybe something drug-related… occurred’ with his wife.
However, police claim Andrew’s apparent lies began to unravel after officers spoke to Elizabeth’s father, Thomas Richards, who confirmed she withdrew money on March 18 because ‘she was going to have to divorce Andrew.’
The victim’s father also told police he believed Andrew ‘did something to Elizabeth.’
Around 3am on Saturday, police found Nikki’s body ‘partially submerged in approximately three feet of water’ in the creek
When police searched the Wihoite’s property, they discovered blood on bed sheets and a pillow in the master bedroom, as well as ‘small droplets on and around the door and inside the master bathroom on the sink.’
Indiana State Police were called to assist with the investigation and interviewed Andrew, during which he reportedly confessed to the affair, claiming Nikki ‘had taken the news hard.’
He told investigators that the couple had agreed to work through his infidelity, alleging they planned to start going to counseling in May, and that he was blindsided by Nikki’s request for a divorce.
‘Andrew stated that he refused to sign the documents without his own attorney reviewing it,’ the affidavit added.
Later during that interrogation, Andrew also admitted to killing Nikki after she had begun yelling at him about the affair, started ‘physically striking’ him and ordered him to leave the family home.
He confessed to throwing Nikki out of the front door of the house and striking her in the face with the flowerpot. He then threw her body over the wall of a bridge and into the nearby creek, police said.
When asked if Nikki was still breathing when he dumped her in the water, Andrew said, ‘he didn’t know because he didn’t check’ but did not recall ‘her groaning or moving at all.’
Police claim Andrew then proceeded to pick up the shards of broken flowerpot, place them in a plastic bag and throw them out of his truck window while on his way to drop off a corn shipment in Linden, Indiana.
Around 3am on Saturday, police found Nikki’s body ‘partially submerged in approximately three feet of water,’ according to Indiana State Police.
Andrew told investigators that the couple had agreed to work through his infidelity, alleging they planned to start going to counseling in May, and that he was blindsided by Nikki’s request for a divorce.
Those close to Nikki have hailed her as ‘such a strong woman’ who was going through more than they knew. The friend also indicated they were unaware about the tensions between Nikki and Andrew.
Mary Smith, her longtime friend, claimed Nikki ‘had just finished up chemo last week’ after having been ‘fighting to stay alive’.
‘She’s fighting to stay alive, to see her kids grow up. To have it end like this, it’s just a tragedy that no one should have to go through. It just shouldn’t be that way,’ Smith told WRTV.
‘Why? What happened to just make [Andrew] lose control?’
‘What pushed him to lash out in such a way?’ she asked.
‘It’s so upsetting to wonder if she had any idea she was in danger.’
Smith said Nikki will be remembered for her devotion to her family and her positive personality.
‘She was just fun. You could always count on her to have a funny story, or just to make you laugh,’ Smith shared.
‘She could be friends with anybody, and she was just fun, she was fun to be around. Just a really devoted mom.’
Nikki ‘had just finished up chemo last week’ after having been ‘fighting to stay alive and to see her kids grow up,’ her close friend shared.
In addition to her alleged commitment to her children, Nikki was also very open about her struggles online.
Her last Facebook post, published on March 20, featured a quote by author Emma Grace reading: ‘You deserve a life that doesn’t hurt.’
The couple also seemingly used social media to document Nikki’s health progress with Andrew on March 18 posting a photo of her captioned: ‘This lady just finished her last round of chemo today… very proud of you.’
Now, Nikki’s Facebook page is flooding with tributes from friends and strangers alike.
‘She was beautiful. She definitely deserved better than what he did to her,’ wrote Jamie Fredericks.
‘My heart is broken. May you rest in peace and may Justice be served,’ echoed Becky Tucker Cash.
‘You did NOT deserve this at all Nikki. RIP sweet beautiful momma,’ said Laci Harper.
Laura Henry added: ‘YOU deserved so much more than this! Now God will ensure no more hurt for you beautiful woman for eternity.’
Mental Health America of Boone County also took to Facebook to mourn Nikki’s loss, writing: ‘We are saddened over the tragic nature of her passing.’
‘We know this can bring up many difficult emotions now, and in the days and weeks to come.’