The Latest: Friend says Florida woman bawled before trip
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Latest on the case of a Nebraska man charged with assisting in his girlfriend’s suicide (all times local):
A friend of a Florida woman who flew to Nebraska to kill herself says the woman never mentioned to him that she had been diagnosed with cancer.
Kenny Johnson, of Orange City, Florida, said Tuesday that 38-year-old Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan was a hard-working single mom who only ever mentioned pain in her feet.
Johnson says Wilemon-Sullivan texted him on July 31 to tell him she was going on vacation and needed him to watch her children until Aug. 3. He says he met her at the airport and she gave him $200 and her truck keys.
He says she was “bawling” and told him it was because she was going to miss her children. Three of the four still lived with her.
Authorities say she killed herself in a wooded area near Weeping Water, Nebraska, on Aug. 1. Her boyfriend Matthew Stubbendieck told investigators she had told him she had late-stage cancer.
He is charged with helping her kill herself.
An investigator says a Nebraska man accused of helping his Florida girlfriend kill herself was “pretty convincing in his interviews” that he believed she had cancer of the lymph nodes.
Lt. Larry Burke of the Cass County sheriff’s office said Tuesday that Matthew J. Stubbendieck appears to have accepted 38-year-old Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan’s word that she had late-stage cancer. But he says the 41-year-old Stubbendieck never contacted the authorities while he and his girlfriend were planning her death.
Burke says authorities don’t believe the Orange City, Florida, woman had cancer because an autopsy found no tumors. The cause of death was undetermined, but the autopsy found no sign of blunt force trauma and concluded that cuts on her forearms and wrists appeared to be self-inflicted.
Wilemon-Sullivan also had alcohol, painkillers and cold medicine in her system.
Investigators say a Nebraska man facing an assisted suicide charge in his Florida girlfriend’s death said he believed she had stage-four cancer, but an autopsy didn’t find any tumors.
Cass County sheriff’s deputies charged 41-year-old Matthew J. Stubbendieck, of Weeping Water, last week in the death of 38-year-old Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan of Orange City, Florida.
Authorities said Stubbendieck reported that Wilemon-Sullivan had killed herself and led them to her body Aug. 5 in a wooded area near Weeping Water, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Omaha. They said the couple arranged for Wilemon-Sullivan to fly to Nebraska from her home near Orlando to kill herself on Aug. 1.
Investigators say Stubbendieck believed his girlfriend had stage-four cancer in the lymph nodes of her neck, armpit and stomach. But an autopsy didn’t find any cancerous masses or tumors.