The Aurora Police Department said on Sunday that 45-year-old James Toliver Craig had been arrested early that morning and booked into custody on first-degree murder charges. Days earlier, investigators say, Craig had taken his wife to a hospital after she began to experience “severe headaches and dizziness.”
Not long after, the woman’s condition worsened, at which point medical personnel made the decision to put her on a ventilator before later determining that she was brain-dead. By Sunday, the hospital decided to take the woman off life support. Mark Hildebrand, a division chief with the Aurora department, said in a statement that “suspicious details” of the case ultimately led investigators to dig deeper.
“It was quickly discovered this was in fact a heinous, complex, and calculated murder,” Hildebrand said.
Several patients of Craig’s spoke with regional outlet KMGH-TV after hearing the news. One patient, who noted Craig had a “large clientele,” said he was required to see a different dentist last week after being told that Craig was dealing with a medical issue involving his wife. According to Craig’s website, which appears to have since been taken down, he also previously served as an associated professor at the University of Missouri’s Dental School.
While police say their inquiry found that the woman had been fatally poisoned, the department’s most recent press release notes that the larger investigation is still “active and ongoing.”