A dentist has been accused of murdering his wife while the two were on a hunting trip in Zambia in 2016 as part of a scheme to defraud life insurance companies.
The complaint said Lawrence Rudolph collected on nine life insurance policies, totaling $4.8 million, after saying her death was accidental.
According to court documents, on Oct. 11, 2016, Rudolph and his wife Bianca were packing to leave their hunting camp in Zambia when Bianca was shot in the chest with a shotgun.
Investigators said Lawrence told police he was in the bathroom and Bianca was in the bedroom when the gunshot went off.
Court documents said Rudolph went on to say that he suspected the gun had been left loaded and that the discharge happened when his wife was trying to pack the gun into its case.
The criminal complaint said Lawrence then quickly tried to cremate Bianca’s body at a funeral home and leave the country.
Court documents then said a consular chief at the U.S. embassy in Zambia told the FBI he had a bad feeling about the situation, which he thought was moving too quickly.
As a result, the consular went to the funeral home with two others from the embassy to take photographs of Bianca’s body and preserve any potential evidence.
Court documents said that while observing Bianca’s body, the consular believed that based on his observations of her gunshot wound, the distance between the muzzle of the shotgun and Bianca’s chest when the shotgun was fired was approximately 6.5 to 8 feet.
Court documents went on to say that when the consular chief returned to the office from the funeral home, he received a call from Lawrence Rudolph who was described as “livid” over the fact that the consular chief had seen Bianca’s body and taken photographs.
When Rudolph met with the consular chief, he asked who would be able to access information about Bianca’s death, including the police reports, and went on to say that Bianca may have committed suicide by shooting herself with the shotgun.
The criminal complaint said that days later, a person identified as Bianca’s friend, contacted the FBI asking that Bianca’s death be investigated because the friend suspected foul play.
The friend told the FBI that Rudolph had affairs in the past and was having one at the time of the shooting.
Court documents also said the friend told investigators that she believed the cremation to have been against Bianca’s wishes because Bianca was a strict Catholic who had once expressed disapproval that the friend's husband had been cremated.
The criminal complaint also said the FBI spoke with a former employee of Three Rivers Dental Group who said a manager at the dental group told her that she had been involved in a long-term relationship with Rudolph for approximately 15 to 20 years.
Lawrence Rudolph has been charged with foreign murder and mail fraud.
The criminal complaint said Rudolph is in custody in Denver, Colorado.