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Woman Who Fell To Mysterious Death Was Insured for $4.5 Million

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Brian Maass By Brian Maass
CBS4 Investigates
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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Probate court documents show a Highlands Ranch woman who mysteriously fell to her death in 2012 was insured for $4.5 million and someone made a claim for part of that insurance money less than 36 hours after her death.

Dr. Toni Henthorn, 50, a well-liked ophthalmologist, fell to her death on a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sept. 29, 2012. She was on an anniversary weekend hike on Deer Mountain with her husband, Harold Henthorn, who was the only witness to her death.

Harold and Toni Henthorn (credit CBS)

Harold and Toni Henthorn (credit CBS)

Harold Henthorn said his wife was preparing to take a picture when she fell about 50 feet. The coroner’s office has ruled “homicide cannot be excluded … she fell or was pushed down a cliff,” according to the Larimer County coroner’s report.

Harold Henthorn told authorities his wife slipped off a rock outcropping and fell to her death. But the FBI and the National Park Service have been investigating the case ever since. No charges have been filed and there have been no arrests.

Adding to the mystery, Harold Henthorn’s first wife, Sandra Lynn Henthorn, also died in a mysterious accident in Douglas County 19 years ago. A car fell on top of her during a tire change on a rural mountain road at night. Harold Henthorn was the only witness to that accident. In that case, one source says Harold Henthorn had taken out a $300,000 insurance policy on his first wife.

Sandra Lynn Henthorn (credit: CBS)

Sandra Lynn Henthorn (credit: CBS)

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says it has now re-opened its investigation into that 1995 case. Originally, detectives closed the case after a one week investigation, ruling the death of Sandra Lynn Henthorn was an accident.

Newly reviewed probate records in the case of Toni Henthorn reveal there were three life insurance policies on Toni Henthorn, each valued at $1.5 million. According to a special trustee status report, one of the policies named the Harold and Toni Henthorn Trust as the beneficiary.

Toni Henthorn (credit CBS)

Toni Henthorn (credit CBS)

“According to the claims department, a claim was sent in for the policy on Oct. 1, 2012. No payment was made. The account has been blocked pending further order of the court.”

The trustee’s accounting does not identify who attempted to file a claim for the policy. While Toni Henthorn died Sept. 29, 2012, the incident occurred late in the day and her body was not removed from Rocky Mountain National Park until the next day, Sunday, Sept. 30.

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