GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) – A man tried to kill himself by staying outside in the freezing mountains for three nights after strangling his wife, court documents obtained Friday state.

David Wayne Reathman, 65, of Golden was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of Barbara Reathman, 70. It could not be immediately determined if he had a lawyer.

Police found her body on March 25 in a closet in the couple’s home with her ankles and wrists bound with duct tape. She also had a strip of tape covering her mouth, police said.

David Reathman was missing but later surrendered.

Investigators said he told them he believed murder-suicide was the only way to escape financial problems caused by the couple’s gambling addiction, and that his wife had joked that he should choke her in her sleep.

Police also say Reathman exaggerated the severity of his lung cancer prognosis and lied about a life insurance policy to get his stepdaughter to help him commit suicide.

David and Barbara Reathman had been married 37 years and kept to themselves, according to court documents. There were no previous reports of any domestic violence between the two.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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