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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Missing boater’s wife arrested for embezzling almost $500,000 from Coeur d’Alene coalition

Larry and Lori Isenberg

Former North Idaho Housing Coalition director Lori Isenberg was charged Tuesday with embezzling about $500,000 from the nonprofit group.

A Coeur d’Alene police report detailing the 64-year-old woman’s arrest on grand theft and 40 charges of forgery was not available.

Isenberg is the wife of missing Coeur d’Alene boater Larry Isenberg..

Lori Isenberg led NIHC for nearly a decade before parting ways in late January for undisclosed reasons. An audit of NIHC’s finances followed Isenberg’s departure, according to NIHC president Kerri Thoreson.

Donning an orange jail suit at her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, Isenberg appeared stoic as Judge Tim Van Valin set her bond at $75,000.

Two weeks ago, Isenberg reported to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office that her husband had fallen off their boat and into the frigid waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Larry Isenberg, 68, reportedly fell into the water on Feb. 13 around 10:30 a.m. while attempting to fix the boat’s motor, Lori Isenberg told the Sheriff’s Office.

According to an incident report, Lori Isenberg said she looked for her husband for “maybe two hours” near Powderhorn Bay before she could get to a phone and call for help.

Just hours before Larry Isenberg’s dissapearance, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported that Lori Isenberg and NIHC had severed ties and that an audit was in the works.

The search for Larry Isenberg, a prominent figure in the North Idaho forestry industy, is ongoing. Dive teams and Sonar have scanned the area.

A week after the search of the lake, Lori Isenberg wrote an E-mail to friends, which was later obtained by The Spokesman-Review. In that email, she shares her detailed account of what happened to her husband.

She said the two decided to take a cold morning boat ride to watch the sunrise at Sun Up Bay and then proceed to the Coeur d’Alene Resort for breakfast.

They had a canvas cover and space heater to keep warm. After a brief cruise, she wrote, the couple had some engine trouble and Larry Isenberg fell overboard after standing up from checking on the motor. She described him as looking confused as he started to fall.

Lori Isenberg said she tried to reach him but tripped on the heater and hit her head.

She tried to drive the boat to search for her husband but she was frantic. She didn’t call for help because she left her cell phone at home and thought her husband had his in his pocket when he fell into the water.

The motor then quit again. She honked the boat horn but the no one came to help.

At one point, she wrote that she thought she was going to die on the boat.

She later found his cell phone and called for help. Isenberg said she worked with search crews but they haven’t found a body.

“I cannot describe the pain I feel,” she wrote. “It is like half of me is gone.”

She ends the email by saying she wants to sell their lake home to interested neighbors and move in with family.