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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Lori Isenberg pleads guilty to killing her husband on Lake Coeur d’Alene in 2018

Feb. 11, 2021 Updated Thu., Feb. 11, 2021 at 9:58 p.m.

Lori Isenberg, front, has pleaded guilty to killing her husband, Larry, in 2018.  (Jonathan Brunt)
Lori Isenberg, front, has pleaded guilty to killing her husband, Larry, in 2018. (Jonathan Brunt)

Lori Isenberg has pleaded guilty to killing her husband three years ago during a boat ride on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

“It’s one step towards closure,” Larry Isenberg’s son, Dean Isenberg, told KHQ Thursday.

Isenberg, originally charged with first-degree homicide through the use of poison, pleaded to a lesser charge of second-degree homicide with an Alford plea, which allows her to maintain her innocence with an acknowledgment that prosecutors would likely succeed in securing a guilty verdict from a jury if the case went to trial.

It took search crews a month to find 68-year-old Larry Isenberg’s body after he fell off his boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene Feb. 13, 2018.

Prosecutors accused Lori Isenberg of planning to poison and drown her husband after an autopsy found he had lethal levels of Benadryl.

In July 2020, prosecutors found that Isenberg had researched the methods they believe she used to kill her husband while on a trip to Florida with him, according to court documents obtained by KHQ.

While on vacation, she allegedly researched Florida water depths, currents, drownings, boating accidents and boat rentals and tried to poison her husband with Benadryl.

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

In a letter Isenberg wrote to friends a week after her husband’s death, she claimed he fell overboard while leaning over the stalled motor to inspect it. She wrote that she tried to grab him as he fell but instead tripped over the space heater, striking her head.

She then waited two hours to call 911. She told a detective she’d left her phone at home and initially thought her husband sunk with his phone still in his pocket. She eventually called from his phone and said she had waited because she didn’t want to leave the area where he fell.

Weeks later, Isenberg was charged with embezzling a half-million dollars from her former employer in a case of wire fraud that her daughters were also ensnared in when they received some of the stolen money.

When first charged, Isenberg disappeared. After two months she turned herself in.

Isenberg later pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud and was sentenced to five years in prison. Her daughters were also convicted in 2019.

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