Idaho woman Lori Isenberg was married to Larry Isenberg for 17 years before his tragic death. She told authorities that he had gotten sick and drowned when they were out on the lake. But when his autopsy results came back, her story didn't exactly hold up. Not to mention, she was already under investigation for fraud and embezzlement.
On the Oct. 8 episode of Dateline, titled "Kill Switch," journalist Keith Morrison exposes Isenberg's wrongdoings and speaks with insiders close to her.
What did Lori Isenberg do?
Tragedy struck on Feb. 13, 2018, when Isenberg and her husband set sail on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. She alerted authorities that her husband had fallen overboard and she could not find him. First responders arrived at the scene and searched through the lake, yet there was no sign of his body. She explained that her husband wasn't feeling well, which caused him to fall overboard.
It took authorities three weeks to find his body. But during this time, Isenberg had gotten herself entangled in a fraud case for embezzling funds. Four of her daughters assisted her in the embezzlement (Isenberg had six children from previous relationships; she did not have any children with Larry). Isenberg turned herself in, but not before fleeing the area and going missing for two months.
Isenberg and her daughters pleaded guilty to fraud charges.
According to East Idaho News, Isenberg pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. Her daughters, Tracy Tesch, April Barnes, Amber Hosking, and Jessica Barnes, also pleaded guilty to their role in the crime. They were each sentenced to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service. They were also ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution and fines.
On top of this, Isenberg's husband's autopsy showed that he did not die from drowning. Instead, a massive overdose of more than 7,000 nanograms of diphenhydramine was found in his system, which hinted at a possible drug poisoning.
Investigators became extremely suspicious of Isenberg. They noticed she had begun liquidating her and her husband's joint accounts and planned on selling their house following his death.
They also noticed handwritten changes were made to his will a month before his death. Under these changes, 80 percent of his assets would go to Isenberg's children. Other evidence showed that Isenberg had tried to poison her husband prior to his death, and her search history showed she had researched topics related to the murder, including water currents, drowning, and boat accidents.
Prosecutors were also able to expose evidence that showed that she had spent weeks planning his murder, just to spare herself embarrassment after her embezzlement scheme became public. Isenberg claimed that her husband accidentally consumed a poisoned drink she had prepared for herself, as she planned to take her own life.
Where is Lori Isenberg now?
Isenberg is currently behind bars. In May 2021, she was sentenced to life in prison with 30 years fixed after pleading guilty in accordance with Alford to second-degree murder, according to Coeur d’Alene Post Falls Press. By entering this plea, Isenberg did not admit guilt but acknowledged that there was enough evidence to convict her if the case went to trial.
As for Isenberg's kids, they do not take their mother's side. “I regret not saying more in the beginning. I regret not talking to the investigators. I regret not standing up for Larry," Isenberg's daughter, Amber Hosking, told Keith Morrison during the episode. “We do not support her. We do not stand by her," she stated, speaking for all of her siblings.
Dateline airs Fridays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.