The Wife of a Prominent Fertility Doctor Was Found Dead in Their Home — What Happened to Susann Sills?

Texts sent from Susann Sills to her husband Scott indicate that she was not happy in their marriage. She died soon after.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 3 2024, Published 6:45 p.m. ET

So many true-crime stories begin with the description of what appears to be a near-perfect life. Obviously perfection is subjective, but if one were to look at the home Susann Sills built with her husband Dr. Scott Sills, they might say it was flawless. The couple lived in the affluent city of San Clemente, Calif., with their twin children, in a gorgeous house.

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Scott was a prominent fertility doctor at a clinic he built alongside Susann. Their job was to literally make people's dreams come true. Both were educated people who came from upstanding backgrounds. It was as if someone magicked a Hallmark movie to life. Unfortunately their picturesque existence came to a screeching halt when Susann's body was discovered at the foot of their stairs on Nov. 13, 2016. What happened to Susann Sills? Here's what we know.

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What happened to Susan Sills? As always, there is more to this story.

Numerous text messages between Susann and Scott in the months leading up to her death tell the story of an unhappy woman. "I will never be free, ever,” she texted, per the Los Angeles Times. “You are killing me, don’t you see? ... I just want out." Their son Eric would later tell police that he heard his parents arguing the night Susann died. He would eventually recant that, but it certainly supported what police found.

On the morning of Nov. 13, 2016, Scott said he found Susann's body laying at the bottom of their staircase. "We’ve got a patient here who’s fallen off the stairs and I don’t have a pulse," he said to the operator. Scott also added that he thought she tripped because it was dark. Authorities found evidence that suggested this was no accident. That night Susann had a migraine and chose to sleep in her daughter's bedroom. It's there that police found bloodstains on a curtain as well as a clump of hair.

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The Orange County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation that lasted two years. Scott was officially charged with Susann's murder in April 2019, per KTLA 5. Police arrested Scott when he was on his way to work. He was booked on suspicion of murder, and he later posted the $1 million bail.

Scott Sills during his trial
Source: Twitter/Dateline NBC (video still)

Scott Sills during his trial

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Where is Scott Sills now?

A little more than seven years after Susann died, Scott was found guilty of murder in December 2023, reported the Los Angeles Times. Deputy Dist. Atty. Jennifer Walker told jurors "this man killed his wife and hid it, and he hid it pretty well, because it took a while to bring him to justice." She went on to say that despite what they showed the world, "people do not know what is going on in the privacy of relationships."

Two pathologists testified that the cause of death was strangulation, which the defense tried to explain away using one of the family dogs. As the Los Angeles Times described their argument: "As Susann Sills lay at the bottom of the stairs, one or both of the family’s dogs, somehow loosed from their overnight kennels, had tugged at a rayon scarf around her neck." Walker countered this theory by pointing out there were no bite marks in Susann's scarf and, furthermore, it would have taken minutes to strangle her to death.

As far as the blood on their daughter's curtain goes, Scott's lawyers posited that this could have happened anytime from an exposed nail on a nightstand. Even if that were the case, it didn't explain the clump of Susann's hair found in the bedroom. The jury agreed with the state. Two months later in March 2024, Scott was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

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