Man Arrested For Allegedly Killing His Wife Nearly One Year After He Was Seen Grieving On TV
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Featured Image Credit: KNWA
A man from Arkansas has been arrested and now faces capital murder charges for the death of his wife, who he previously publicly mourned on TV.
On May 28, 2021, 36-year-old Amber Dunigan was found deceased in her car on the side of the Arkansas Highway. She had been fatally shot.
In June 2021, her husband, 39-year-old Jason Ross Dunigan, and the pair's son appeared on television, stating that they 'wanted answers' surrounding her death.
However, on February 17, 2022, criminal information claiming Dunigan 'shot his wife in the head [...] with the premediated and deliberate purpose of causing the death of another person' was submitted to the Fourth Judicial District Court. An arrest warrant was issued the next day.
Jason Ross Dunigan, 39, is accused of capital murder over the May 28, 2021, death of his 36-year-old wife, Amber Dunigan. Amber's body was found inside her parked car along an Arkansas highway late at night. #Arkansas #Crime #Murderhttps://t.co/sMToDYs0wx— MChheda (@MC_IBTimesSG) February 22, 2022
On the day of the murder, Dunigan claimed that he was out looking at properties in western Washington County between 6pm and 7.30pm when he began having issues with his car, KNWA reports.
The husband said he then met with his wife at the side of the highway to fix the mechanical issue just after 8pm. He restarted his car before returning home, The Independent reports.
However, when his wife didn't similarly return to the house, Dunigan said he 'became concerned' and so decided to go back to the side of the highway accompanied by his parents, where he found her having died.
Arkansas State Police trooper Jeff Richardson was the first officer on the scene after the Washington County Sheriff's Office were called by Dunigan himself.
Mrs Dunigan's murder was ruled out as being a robbery after investigators discovered that the car still contained 'cash and other valuables'.
A month after Mrs Dunigan's death, Ross's father and Amber's father-in-law, James Dunigan, joined his son and grandson on television at the crime scene to pay respects to Mrs Dunigan.
He told KNWA, 'You hope somebody saw something and would call it in and say, ‘I saw this, I saw that’, and give police some kind of lead.'
The criminal information alleges that Dunigan murdered his wife with a shotgun to receive her life insurance policy — of which he and the pair's son were beneficiaries. The insurance totalled $300,000.
According to police, Dunigan called himself 'the number one suspect' in the case and complained that his wife's life insurance wasn't being released by her place of work to someone who has since stepped forward as a witness.
A small piece of neon green fabric 'very similar to the fabric used on the suspect's work shirts', was discovered next to Mrs Dunigan's head wound and sent to the FBI for forensic analysis. Authorities believe that the sound of the gunshot was 'muffle[d]' by one of the husband's 'work shirts'.
In an interview the day after his wife's murder, Dunigan was reportedly unable to describe what properties he had supposedly visited prior to meeting with her on the side of the highway.
A surveillance system from the Dunigans' family home was analysed and footage was discovered to be missing from the time 6.22pm to 8.26pm on the night of Mrs Dunigan's murder.
Data collected from the husband's car also contradicted his statement as to what his movements were on the night of the murder, and it was later alleged by his roommate that she and Dunigan were 'in a sexual relationship' that his wife had known about 'for some time'.
On September 17, 2021, the fabric found next to the victim's head wound was confirmed as being 'consistent with having originated from the defendant's work shirt'.
After being arrested in Farmington town, Dunigan was booked into Washington County Jail on February 19. He now faces the class Y felony of Capital Murder.
Dunigan was released on a $250,000 bond. According to Newsbreak, he is set to appear in court on February 23.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677