Missouri Man Who Couldn’t Afford Wife’s Medical Bills Charged for Her Murder

A Missouri man has admitted to killing his wife because he couldn’t afford her medical bills. Officers from the Independence Police Department (IPD) responded to an emergency call from a hospital intensive care unit after staff noted “suspicious injuries” on a female patient. She died the following morning, and staff told police her husband announced, “I did it, I killed her.”

Prosecutors subsequently charged Ronny Wiggs, of Independence, with second-degree murder. Court documents reveal that he related to police he killed his wife by suffocating her in her hospital bed. He covered her nose and mouth and then left the hospital to return later when staff alerted him that Mrs. Wiggs was unresponsive.

The court files furthermore revealed that it was not the first time Wiggs tried to kill his wife. The husband told officers he previously wanted to choke her when she was in a rehabilitation facility but was unable to go through with it.

When questioned about why the defendant sought to end his wife’s life, he said he was depressed, unable to care for her, and did not have the funds to pay for her growing medical bills. The couple’s son confirmed to reporters that his mother was hospitalized for kidney dialysis. Authorities have not released details about her age or what other medical problems she suffered from.

The incident unfolded on the evening of May 3 at the Centerpoint Medical Center, where staff initiated a “code blue” alert when they found that Mrs. Wiggs had no pulse and showed no signs of brain activity. Medical carers furthermore noted red marks and other injuries to her neck and phoned Mr. Wiggs and his son. When they attended, while sitting by his wife’s bedside, he confessed, telling his son and nursing staff what he had done.

Police detained him on Friday evening, and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office charged him with murder on Saturday morning. He is held in Jackson County jail on a $250,000 bond.