LEBANON, Ind. — The Boone County Sheriff's Office said a rural Lebanon woman was found dead and her husband was arrested for her murder early Saturday morning.
Elizabeth "Nikki" Wilhoite, 41, was reported missing by coworkers Friday morning when she did not report to work. State Police said her body was found in a creek near her home early Saturday morning.
In an update Sunday, the Boone County Coroner's Office said her cause of death was still pending, however, the coroner has determined the manner of death to be a homicide.
Her husband, 39-year-old Andrew N. Wilhoite, is in the Boone County Jail on a preliminary charge of murder.
Nikki Wilhoite was last seen Thursday night at her home northeast of Lebanon.
After issuing a missing person's report Friday, Boone County Sheriff's investigators and police dogs began searching the area and they found evidence that led them to believe she may have been murdered.
State Police investigators were called in Friday evening to take the lead in the case since Andrew Wilhoite is the son of a county councilwoman. "To avoid any conflict of interest, it was decided to contact the Indiana State Police and ask them to lead the investigation and we would assist them," the sheriff's office explained in a statement.
Marcia Wilhoite currently serves on the Boone County Council as an at-large member.
According to State Police, ISP detectives determined that during a domestic dispute, Andrew Wilhoite allegedly struck Nikki Wilhoite in the head with a blunt object causing her to lose consciousness. He drove her to the creek where he dumped her body.
Police said they found her body around 3 a.m. partially submerged in approximately three feet of water. She was later pronounced dead by the Boone County Coroner.
Andrew Wilhoite was booked into the jail in Lebanon shortly before 4 a.m., according to jail records.
He is facing a preliminary charge of felony murder. His formal charges are yet to be determined by the Boone County prosecutor.
Check back for updates to this developing story.