PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — A murder mystery is unfolding five years after an Arizona woman ended up dead on a hunting trip with her husband. He told authorities she accidentally shot herself. Now, he's been arrested and charged, accused of murder.
According to a federal indictment, Larry Rudolph and his wife, Bianca, lived in Pennsylvania. He was a dentist and the two were avid hunters.
In 2012, the couple moved to Arizona. Records show he would travel back and forth from Arizona to Pennsylvania to run his practice.
In 2016, Larry and Bianca embarked on a hunting trip to Africa, a place they had visited several times. On this trip, they went to Zambia with the goal of killing a leopard. They brought two guns with them - a Remington .375 Rifle and a Browning 12-gauge shotgun.
At the end of their trip, tragedy struck. Bianca was shot in the chest and died.
Larry told African officials she had accidentally shot herself while trying to pack the shotgun into its case.
Her death was ruled an accident by African officials. But red flags were raised by some right away.
According to federal records, the consular chief who interacted with Larry following Bianca's death said Larry was "livid" they had taken photographs of Bianca's body.
Larry insisted on cremating her in Africa before returning home and paid cash to rush the process.
A friend of Bianca's notified the FBI that Larry had been having an affair at the time of her death.
Once Larry returned home, he immediately began claiming her life insurance policy and cashed out close to $5 million.
Since then, county property records show Larry Rudolph has been living in a multi-million dollar mansion in Paradise Valley.
But in December, five years after Bianca's death, authorities arrested him and charged him with murder and mail fraud.
Records show a former employee of Rudolph's dental practice told federal investigators she knew Rudolph's girlfriend who claimed to have dated him for 15-20 years while he was married to Bianca. She alleges the girlfriend stated she gave Rudolph an ultimatum of one year to sell his dental office and leave Bianca.
The federal case is being handled in Colorado where Bianca's insurance company is based. A medical examiner there used photographs taken of Bianca's body and reports filed in Africa to determine the cause and manner of her death.
He concluded it would have been nearly impossible for her to have reached the trigger of the shotgun herself. It was noted that the shot came from at least 2-3.5 feet away.
In a statement to the New York Times, Rudolph's attorney denied all allegations saying, “Now, more than five years later, the government is seeking to manufacture a case against this well-respected and law-abiding dentist. Dr. Rudolph looks forward to his trial where he will demonstrate his innocence.”
Rudolph is being detained in Colorado but his attorneys have filed a motion to get him moved to Arizona closer to his home.
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