Front Page Detectives

Florida Man Accused of Drugging, Fatally Strangling Husband Who Was About to Move Out: Cops

Florida Man Accused of Killing Husband, Staging Fake Crime Scene
Source: Marion County Sheriff's Office

Timothy Smith (left) was found dead during a wellness check. Months later, his husband (right) has been arrested in connection with his murder.

Nov. 6 2023, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

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A Florida man has been arrested after he allegedly killed his husband and then staged a fake crime scene while disposing of actual evidence, according to authorities.

On March 25, police found 59-year-old Timothy Smith dead during a wellness check after he failed to show up for work, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said Smith was the victim of a “violent attack,” Front Page Detectives previously reported.

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Days later, the victim's spouse, Herbert Swilley, created a GoFundMe, writing his husband's death was a “tragic loss for everyone, family and friends,” WINK reported. Swilley raised over $2,200 in donations to cover funeral expenses and a celebration of life.

On Aug. 9, the sheriff’s office announced that Swilley was “considered a suspect in Timothy’s murder.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, investigators determined that Smith was dosed with 30 times the normal dose of diphenhydramine, an ingredient found in allergy meds like Benadryl, on the night of March 23.

Detectives claimed Swilley then allegedly choked Smith to death and then drove his body from their shared home to an apartment they maintained.

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Inside the apartment, police said they believe Swilley placed Smith’s body and “staged a fake crime scene.” He then drove back to the shared residence and drove Smith’s vehicle back to the apartment, where he parked it and walked back home, according to authorities.

Investigators allegedly determined Swilley deleted videos from the doorbell camera from that night and also dropped off two carpets at a landfill.

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Investigators said they believe Smith suffered domestic abuse before his death and was about to get a new job in another country, where he was planning on moving without his husband.

Officials also learned that Swilley allegedly was the beneficiary of $333,000 in life insurance benefits on Smith’s accounts.

Swilley has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence, authorities said. He is being held without bond.


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