Former Mayo Clinic doctor accused of fatally poisoning wife charged with second-degree murder

A Minnesota doctor who has worked as a poison specialist is accused of killing his estranged wife by poisoning her, police said.

Connor Bowman, 30, of Rochester, was arrested Friday, jail records show, and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Betty Bowman, 32.

The Rochester Police Department said in a statement that Betty Bowman went to the emergency room at the Mayo Clinic in August because of intestinal issues and severe dehydration. Her condition worsened, and she died four days later.

According to the criminal complaint, computer records showed that Connor Bowman researched the drug colchicine online, including ways to buy it. The medical examiner’s office determined his wife’s death was due to “the toxic effects of colchicine,” the complaint states.

Colchicine is primarily used to treat gout. Medical records show Betty Bowman was never prescribed colchicine and never diagnosed with gout, according to the complaint. The University of Kansas, which had employed Connor Bowman remotely as a poison specialist, told police that he had no reason to be researching colchicine as part of his work for them, the complaint said.

Betty Bowman - From Sarah Leeser
Betty Bowman - From Sarah Leeser

Connor Bowman appeared in court Monday but did not enter a plea. The Olmsted County Attorney’s Office told CNN he was granted bail of $5 million for unconditional release, or $2 million with conditions. Jail records show he had not posted bail as of Wednesday afternoon.

Betty Bowman worked as a pharmacist at the Mayo Clinic, according to a family statement provided to CNN affiliate KTTC. Connor Bowman had worked as a resident at the Mayo Clinic, spokesperson Amanda Dyslin said. “The resident’s training at Mayo Clinic ended earlier this month,” she said.

Investigators say a friend of Betty Bowman told police that, before she went to the hospital, she told him her illness started after being given a drink that “was mixed in a large smoothie.”

The criminal complaint says the Bowmans “were having marital issues and were talking about a divorce” and that Connor Bowman told an acquaintance who spoke to police that he was going to get $500,000 in life insurance money. The medical examiner’s office told police that Connor Bowman attempted to cancel his wife’s autopsy and wanted to cremate her remains until they stepped in due to the suspicious circumstances, the complaint says.

Connor Bowman’s next court appearance is scheduled for November 1, according to a court document. CNN reached out to his attorney, Michael Schatz, for comment Wednesday morning.

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