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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lori Isenberg charged with killing her husband on Lake Coeur d’Alene in 2018

UPDATED: Tue., Feb. 25, 2020

Lori Isenberg was booked into the Kootenai County Jail on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. She is accused of killing her husband, Larry Isenberg. (File)
Lori Isenberg was booked into the Kootenai County Jail on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. She is accused of killing her husband, Larry Isenberg. (File)

Two years after the death of her husband on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Lori Isenberg has been charged with his murder.

Search crews recovered the body of Larry Isenberg, 68, in March 2018, a month after he fell into the water during a morning boat ride.

Lori Isenberg, 66, is accused of planning to kill her husband by intentionally creating the situation in which he was submerged in the lake and died, according to court documents.

She was booked into the Kootenai County Jail on Monday night on suspicion of first-degree murder with a $2 million bond.

Isenberg’s charges also cite poison, lying in wait or torture as potential factors in the killing. Larry Isenberg’s body contained lethal levels of Benadryl, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A week after her husband fell into the water, Isenberg wrote a letter to friends and family detailing the morning’s events, which later was obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

The couple took a morning boat ride on Feb. 13 to see the sunrise at Sun Up Bay, the letter said. The couple had a space heater and a canvas cover to keep warm.

The boat’s motor stalled, Isenberg wrote, and her husband fell overboard while leaning over the motor to see what was wrong.

Isenberg wrote that she tried to reach out to her husband but tripped over the space heater, hitting her head.

She later told sheriff’s deputies her husband may have had a medical episode that caused him to fall into the water. Isenberg left her phone at home and said she thought her husband’s phone had been in his pocket when he fell overboard.

Eventually, Isenberg found her husband’s cellphone and called for help. She told a detective she waited two hours to call 911 because she didn’t want to leave the area where her husband fell into the water.

The day her husband disappeared, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported Isenberg no longer worked at the North Idaho Housing Coalition and that the nonprofit was conducting an audit.

Weeks after her husband fell into the lake and before his body was found, Isenberg was charged with embezzling half-a-million dollars from her former employer.

Isenberg missed her arraignment on those charges, and a judge issued a warrant for her arrest. Her attorney told the court she was traveling.

Two months after she went missing, Isenberg turned herself in to law enforcement in July 2018.

Two of Lori Isenberg’s daughters pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in October 2018 for taking money from their mother that was embezzled from the North Idaho Housing Coalition.

Investigators discovered handwritten changes had been made to Larry Isenberg’s will to give 80% of his estate to his wife’s six daughters and 20% to his own two children.

Isenberg pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud in January 2019 and was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for embezzling from the North Idaho Housing Coalition.

Later that same month, two more of Isenberg’s daughters pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit federal program theft.

Over the past two years, Isenberg has continually been under investigation for her husband’s death, including a Jan. 31 grand jury indictment that eventually led to the murder charges filed this week.

Isenberg was brought to Kootenai County from the SeaTac federal detention center in Seattle, according to court documents. Her next court appearance will be March 3.

Spokesman-Review reporter Jared Brown contributed to this story.

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