Shanti Cooper-Tronnes was found dead in her home on April 24, 2018 after her husband called 911 and said he believed she fell in the bathtub. CBS’ 48 Hours and correspondent Erin Moriarty investigated the story and the charges that have since been brought against David Tronnes.
Police allege that Tronnes actually beat and choked his wife prior to making the 911 call. According to records, they said he killed his wife and then went for a walk, went to the park with his dogs and even did housework before calling for help, People reported.
Shanti Cooper’s cause of death was determined by the autopsy to be blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation. Detectives noted that her body was dry when they arrived at the scene, which contradicted her husband’s story that she’d fallen in the bathtub.
Shanti Cooper Died From Blunt Force Trauma to the Head and Strangulation, Autopsy Found
According to the autopsy report, there were no defensive wounds on Cooper-Tronnes’ arms, and she had been found wearing only one earring. The other was still on her nightstand along with her cell phone. Detective Teresa Sprague wrote in a police report that Cooper-Tronnes may have been attacked the night before her body was found.
“It seemed plausible to me she had placed her cell phone on the nightstand and started to remove her jewelry, including her watch and one earring and was in the process of removing her left earring when she was attacked,” she wrote in the report, according to People. She added that she believed Tronnes had moved her body to the bathroom after attacking her in order to clean up the scene.
Tronnes was arrested four months after his wife’s death and charged with first-degree murder. Police argue that Tronnes strangled his wife at their home.
The trial was scheduled to begin on February 3, 2020, but it has been delayed since then. In January 2020, The Orlando Sentinel reported that Tronnes had gotten a new lawyer, who was planning to file a motion to delay the trial so he could get all the facts and evidence before the beginning of a trial. The trial has since been delayed multiple times.
Police Allege Tronnes Lied to His Wife About Finances
According to CBS News, Tronnes and Cooper met in 2013 in Minnesota via Match.com. At the time, both of them were going through a divorce, and they moved in together in 2015. They began to renovate their home, going through a process to make it more like the home that Shanti Cooper wanted to live in.
Unfortunately, they could not live in the main home during much of the renovation, so they stayed in an apartment above their garage. By the time May 2018 came around, the home was basically just a shell. A few days after a renovator visited the property to assess what a renovation may take, Shanti Cooper was dead.
Authorities allege that David Cooper lied about his finances, saying that he had inherited more than $10 million between his parents, and Cooper-Tronnes eventually found out about this, authorities allege that Tronnes killed her. People also reported that Tronnes was allegedly visiting bathhouses for anonymous sex with other men.
David Tronnes has since been charged with murder and is being held in the Orange County Jail in Orlando awaiting his trial. He maintains his innocence.