EARLVILLE, Iowa — Authorities said an Earlville man has been arrested on a murder charge several months after his wife died from being impaled on a corn rake.
Todd M. Mullis, 42, was arrested Thursday, according to a release from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office. He faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection to the Nov. 10 death of Amy L. Mullis, 39.
He made an initial appearance Thursday in Iowa District Court for Delaware County. Online records don’t list additional court dates.
In a lengthy criminal complaint, authorities laid out the case against Todd Mullis, whom witnesses described as controlling and jealous.
Todd Mullis called 911 on Nov. 10 to report that he had found his wife unresponsive in a shed on their farm. She was taken to Regional Medical Center in Manchester where she was pronounced dead.
He later told authorities that Amy Mullis, who recently had surgery, was working with him on the farm that day. Todd Mullis said he noticed Amy was having “dizzy spells,” so he instructed her to go lie down after grabbing a pet carrier from a nearby shed.
Todd Mullis said that “some time later,” he instructed the couple’s eldest son to go check on Amy Mullis to “see what she was doing.” The child then began yelling for Todd.
Police said Todd Mullis reported finding his wife “lying in a crouched position just inside the doorway with a corn rake impaled in her back.” Todd Mullis said he removed the rake and attempted to take her to a hospital, dialing 911 on the way.
Authorities initially reported Amy Mullis’ death as the result of a fall at her farm. However, a medical examiner later called the incident a homicide, stating “that the injuries Amy sustained are not consistent with falling onto the corn rake as described by Todd,” according to court documents.
The medical examiner noted that the corn rake only had four tines, but Amy Mullis’ body had six puncture wounds from different angles.
Investigation revealed that Amy and Todd Mullis had a strained relationship for several months prior to Amy Mullis’ death. The two had slept apart for months, and authorities uncovered evidence of Amy Mullis’ affairs, according to court documents.
Authorities, including officials from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, interviewed friends and neighbors. One friend reported hearing Amy say that if she was found dead, “you’ll know Todd did something to me.”
Another friend said Amy’s nickname was “POT Wife,” with the POT standing for “Prisoner of Todd,” according to court documents. Amy Mullis’ brother also said a few months prior to her death, he and Amy made tentative plans to have furniture available if she decided to leave Todd.
Authorities uncovered evidence that Amy Mullis was having a relationship with another man that continued until the week of her death. The man told authorities that Amy was “scared to death of Todd” and once told the man “If (Todd) catches me, he might make me disappear.”
Todd Mullis also allegedly told Amy Mullis’ stepmother that “he wasn’t going to lose the farm over this,” referencing Amy’s affair. Amy Mullis allegedly told a friend that she would get $2 million and half of the farm if she were to leave Todd Mullis.
Investigators also reviewed Todd Mullis’ search history on his tablet computer.
Authorities said that four days before Amy Mullis’ death, her husband searched “organs in the body.” Earlier that year, he searched the internet for “killing unfaithful women,” “what happens to cheaters in history” and “what happened to cheating spouses in historic Aztec tribes.” They also said that last month he searched for “thrill of the kill.”