’48 Hours: The COVID Cover-Up’ recounts the mysterious disappearance of Gretchen Anthony after people seemingly received texts from her that said she was being moved to a government coronavirus treatment facility. After people got a premonition of something terrible happening to Gretchen, she was reported missing on March 25, 2020. Thus started the police investigation into this strange case. With the CCTV footage from a few cameras and witness statements, the police figured out what happened. If you are intrigued by this case and want to know if Gretchen Anthony was ever found, we have got you covered.
What Happened to Gretchen Anthony?
Gretchen Anthony lived in a house on Sunshine Drive in the Mallory Creek Community in Abacoa, Palm Beach, Florida. She got divorced twice and had a daughter with her first husband, whom they were co-parenting successfully. She was also working with Viking Utility in an HR position. In 2015, Gretchen married for the second time. She and her second husband, David Anthony, seemed blissfully happy with each other initially.
Yet, as their marriage progressed, the couple slowly started drifted apart, and a few days before her disappearance, David and Gretchen had petitioned for a divorce. After the divorce petition, David, who went back to living with his mother, suddenly expressed a desire to move to Costa Rica. On the other hand, Gretchen was happy after being free of her estranged husband. She seemingly went on dates and was happily co-parenting her child with her first husband. Gretchen was highly active on social media.
With the onset of coronavirus, she used to use social media platforms daily to communicate with people, yet, after March 19, 2020, her social media profile suddenly became dormant and remained so. Gretchen went off the grid completely, and most people who knew her were concerned. There was a rumor flying about that Gretchen was sick, though if people texted her, they did not receive any reply. On March 23, Gretchen’s employer, and others, were extremely worried when she did not arrive for work.
On reaching out, they received a text where she said that she had tested positive for Covid and was being moved from the Jupiter Medical Center to a government Covid facility in Belle Glade. Even Gretchen’s first husband received the same kind of text where she said that she would be put in a coma as her Covid has gotten serious. Suspecting foul play because of the horrible grammar and spelling being used in the text, he reported Gretchen missing on March 25. Furthermore, he also told police that Gretchen did not have the habit of texting using abbreviations and wrong grammar, but her estranged husband, David, sure did.
Is Gretchen Anthony Found or Missing?
On December 21, 2020, the police said that they found Gretchen’s remains some three miles away from her house. Acting on the missing person report, when the police went to Gretchen’s home to investigate, they found evidence of someone having cleaned the place in a hurry. The washing machine had a load of towels with a reddish substance that the police suspected to be blood. The police also seemingly found droplets of blood in the bedroom and some broken glass on the stairs.
Furthermore, they found that the garage had been cleaned with bleach recently. While talking to witnesses, several came forward and said that they had received the same text from Gretchen, where she said that she was being moved to a Covid facility. When the police asked the Jupiter Medical Center about the Covid facility in Belle Glade, they were informed that no such facility existed.
A neighbor of Gretchen came forward and told police that on March 21, a terrifying scream was heard from the house. Another neighbor said she saw some kind of white chemical being used to clean the garage. Suspecting something to be up, the police decided to check the dismantled CCTV camera equipment they found in Gretchen’s garage. Furthermore, the police found Gretchen’s car in the parking lot of Jupiter Medical Center and, on examining it, noticed blood on the gearshift and steering wheel.
When checking the CCTV footage, the police saw that David Antony had parked his truck in the parking lot on March 23. The next day’s footage showed a tall man parking Gretchen’s vehicle at the parking lot. Authorities suspected that this tall man might be Gretchen’s estranged husband, David. Plus, the CCTV footage recovered from Gretchen’s home showed a tall man waiting to ambush Gretchen at her house. The moment she stepped out, muffled screams filled the video. Another camera showed a person lying motionless on the floor of her garage and the tall man reaching up to disable the camera.
Suspecting David of the crime, the police then decided to trace both David and Gretchen’s phones. They traced their phones to Pensacola, where they found footage of a tall man trying to sell some women’s jewelry at a shop. The police even thought they noticed a ring that belonged to Gretchen. When the shopkeeper was questioned, he identified David as the one who tried to sell him the jewelry. The couple’s phones were then traced further to Texas. By this time, the police were confident of David Anthony’s involvement in the crime.
Thus, when he was spotted in New Mexico on March 31, 2020, detectives arrested him and charged him with murder and kidnapping. After the arrest in December 2020, the police said that David had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and had even agreed to lead the police to where Gretchen’s body was. On December 21, 2020, the police said they seemed to have found Gretchen’s remains in a site that was 3 miles away from her home in Abacoa, Florida. In January 2021, David was sentenced to 38 years in prison based on his second-degree murder plea. He remains incarcerated to this day.
Read More: Where is David Anthony Now?