5 Things to Know: Fisherman Accused of Killing Wife — Whose Body Was Tied with an Anchor in Lake Erie

On June 11, Christopher Leclair made a distress call to the Coast Guard to report that his wife had fallen off their commercial fishing boat into the choppy waters of Lake Erie about three miles off the coast of Pennsylvania.

But authorities suspect that isn’t the real version of events, and Leclair is now behind bars after being charged with criminal homicide on June 13 for allegedly killing Karen Leclair, 51, his wife of more than two decades.

Here are five things to know about the case.

1. Victim’s Body Was Bound and She’d Been Shot in the Head

Three weeks after Karen was reported missing, her body was found floating in Lake Erie with an anchor tied around her chest and her ankles bound with nylon rope, Lt. Wayne Kline, of the Pennsylvania State Police, told PEOPLE.

The anchor, used for fishing nets, wasn’t heavy enough to hold Karen down, Kline said.

Autopsy results later revealed she suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, he said.

2. Victim’s Husband Admitted to Having an Affair, Police Claim

Under police questioning, Christopher, 48, allegedly told police he had been having an affair, Kline said.

His accused mistress later told authorities that he had spent the night at her house on June 10, the day before Karen was reported missing, and that the two talked about moving in together, according to Kline.

Police also said that Karen’s family has since filed a motion in court to freeze their marital assets, which Christopher was allegedly trying to liquidate to pay for his legal defense after her death.

3. Surveillance Video Allegedly Contradicted the Husband’s Story

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, video shows Christopher leaving the dock with his wife on board their commercial fishing boat on June 10 — only to return hours later without her.

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The footage shows him going back to the boat the next day alone, taking it out on Lake Erie and then reporting her missing about an hour and a half after that.

4. Investigators Have Searched Leclair’s Home and Boat

Armed with search warrants, investigators found the alleged murder weapon – a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson — in the couple’s bedroom, Kline said.

He said investigators also found nylon rope similar to that used to bind Karen on the Leclairs’ commercial fishing boat.

5. Suspect’s Dad Accused of Helping Cover Up the Killing

On Wednesday, Christopher’s father, 74-year-old Ernest Leclair, was arrested and charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence after authorities discovered that he had allegedly tried to hide the revolver that was used to shoot her, says Kline.

Ernest was arraigned Wednesday but didn’t enter a plea. He remains in jail on a $25,000 bond. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.

Christopher has not yet entered a plea and is scheduled to return to court on July 31. He remains in custody in the Erie County Prison in Pennsylvania.

His attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s calls for comment.

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/crime/5-things-know-lake-erie-fisherman-murdered-wife/

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