Angela Craig: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her?

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CBS’ ’48 Hours: Who Poisoned Angela Craig?’ makes us ask the titular question as the Colorado-based mother of six suddenly started to feel ill and uneasy in March 2023. Given her unusual and unfathomable symptoms, investigators believed that there was foul play involved when she ultimately passed away under mysterious circumstances. This episode thus covers the extensive investigation, taking us through all the twists and turns, while also including exclusive interviews with the loved ones of Angela Craig and other individuals directly or indirectly related to the case.

Angela Craig Was Gradually Poisoned to Death

Donald Dean Pray and Elizabeth Jane Stockton Pray welcomed Angela “Ang” Dawn Pray Craig into the world on April 15, 1979, in Dodge City, Kansas. Loved and supported by her entire family, she grew up to be a kind and caring human with an unbounded sense of humor. At the age of 20, on December 18, 1999, she tied the knot with James Craig and together, they welcomed six children in 23 years. They had five girls, namely Nora Jane, Mira, Belle, Violet Jo, and Cleo, and their eldest kid was a boy named Toliver. For the past 15 years or so, the family had been living in Aurora, Colorado.

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Considered a light in so many people’s lives, Angela had a huge heart and tried her best to help her friends and strangers alike. Apart from being religious, she was also known to be a devoted wife and mother. Over the years, she served in many roles at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, such as choir director, instructor, and leader of the youth organization as well as a family history consultant. While working as the latter, she helped trace the familial roots of many individuals. She was an outdoorswoman too, all the while loving to stop by food trucks to satiate her appetite, watch mystery shows, and read everything she found interesting.

Moreover, Angela doted upon animals despite being allergic to many of them. She was also artistic and passionate about woodworking and interior design. The quick-witted woman was the heart of all parties, events, and other social gatherings. She and James had hence built a good life in Aurora. While she conducted church duties and mostly looked after their kids, James worked hard at his well-known dental practice, Summerbrook Dental. The 43-year-old led a healthy lifestyle and worked out to maintain her physical and mental well-being.

However, as March 2023 rolled around, she began experiencing frequent bouts of headache and dizziness. Then came March 15 when Angela had to be rushed to University Hospital as she was in a critical condition. Soon, she was put on life support and declared brain dead by the doctors — it was March 18. Following her death, an autopsy was conducted and the report surprisingly determined arsenic poisoning as the cause of Angela’s death. As per the medical reports, the mother of six was poisoned with a lethal dose of cyanide and tetrahydrozoline.

Angela Craig Was Killed by Someone She Loved and Trusted

When officials learned that Angela died of poisoning, they immediately launched an investigation, suspecting foul play by someone close to her. When they talked to her friends and family, they found out that her medical issues began on March 6, 2023. That day, she had informed her husband about feeling so dizzy it was as if she’d been drugged. Worried and concerned, James Craig rushed home from work and took her to the hospital. Although nothing serious was found and she was released from the ER, three days later, she had to be admitted again. But even after undergoing several tests and treatments, the doctors had a hard time finding the root cause of her issue.

During this second visit to the hospital, James allegedly ordered potassium cyanide from a local Nebraska company, claiming he needed to use it for research purposes. Then, on March 13, while Angela was still hospital-ridden, a package for him was delivered to Summerbrook Dental and he asked his manager not to open it. Though an office attendant soon found a biohazard sticker attached to a canister labeled “potassium cyanide.” Since Angela began feeling a bit better, she was released on March 14. Yet, she had to make a third trip to the hospital just a few hours later, on the next morning, as she felt sicker than ever before.

James accompanied his wife to the hospital this time too, but he soon returned home before going back with some food about an hour and a half later. He then found himself all alone with Angela in her room, only for her to suffer a seizure wherein all her vital signs crashed soon after that. That’s when he took some photos of his wife in this critical condition, sending them to their friends Michelle and Ryan Redfearn. And it was while they were rushing to the hospital that Ryan received a call about the potassium cyanide a staff member had found. This same colleague had Googled the symptoms that Angela had been going through and got worried she might have been poisoned by James. Ryan soon called the police because even James’ crying seemed fake to him.

Within a few hours, the authorities were at the hospital and launching a full-fledged investigation. Meanwhile, Angela had been put on life support. On March 18, 2023, the 43-year-old was declared brain dead, following which the plug was pulled. As detectives dug deeper into this now-homicide case, they learned James had used an office computer to learn about undetectable poisons and had also purchased crystalline metalloid arsenic just a few weeks before his wife’s death. They also found a witness who claimed James had prepared a protein shake for his wife before her first bout of illness. She’d felt dizzy and sick just some time after working out. In light of all this, James was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of his wife Angela plus evidence tampering.

During the preliminary hearing in July 2023, the defense claimed that James had a history of depression and had also turned to counseling. Then, a few months after his arrest, in October 2023, James pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. He seemingly maintains his innocence and is scheduled to stand for his trial in August 2024.

Read More: James Craig: Where is the Alleged Killer Husband Today?