Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan had been dating her boyfriend, Matthew Stubbendieck, for more than a year when she told him her stage 4 cancer had spread to her neck, armpit, and stomach.
And according to KETV, she told him “she wanted to die in his arms” instead of living with the brutal disease. The 38-year-old woman convinced Stubbendieck, 41, of helping her take her own life. The two reportedly then planned out Wilemon-Sullivan’s suicide via text messages.
On July 31, according to KETV, Wilemon-Sullivan boarded a plane for Nebraska, where Stubbendieck resides, after purchasing a one-way flight. The 38-year-old mother of three reportedly planned on committing suicide the next day. That night, the two went to dinner with Stubbendieck’s parents. His father, Howard, told KETV that Wilemon-Sullivan was “upbeat” and got along “real well” with his wife.
But the next day, things took a turn for the morbid.
According to Stubbendieck’s statement to officials, he and Wilemon-Sullivan went for a drive and pulled over in a wooded area called Acapulco Lake. He said he left his girlfriend for a moment to urinate, but when he came back, she had slit her wrists.
He told authorities he stayed with her in that area — which police said couldn’t be reached by vehicle — for four hours. He also claimed that during the course of that time, Wilemon-Sullivan cut her wrists another few times.
Because she was suffering, Stubbendieck attempted to suffocate her two separate times but said he couldn’t bring himself to finish.
Eventually, he left her in the woods while she was still alive and “still whispering” around 9:30 at night.
Stubbendieck returned the following to find her body cold and lifeless, but did not immediately call the police. Wilemon-Sullivan allegedly made him promise he would keep her death a secret for several months, but he notified authorities four days later because it was “destroying his family,” according to New York Daily News.
Stubbendieck’s father was shocked when he heard the news that his son helped her die, but he told KETV he knew she was in great discomfort.
“She was so sick from the cancer, she didn’t want to live anymore, she couldn’t take the pain.”
A subsequent autopsy, however, didn’t find one cancerous tumor or mass in Wilemon-Sullivan’s body.
The medical examiner did confirm that her wounds were self-inflicted and that underwear had been placed over her nose and mouth before she passed away, but no cancer. According to the Omaha World-Herald, however, Lt. Larry Burke, a police investigator, said evidence didn’t definitively prove her to be cancer-free.
For now, her claims of stage 4 cancer in her neck, stomach, and armpit seem to be false. Burke told the Omaha World-Herald her death was, nonetheless, well planned out:
“This was a planned event, it wasn’t just spur of the moment.”
When asked why his son might have helped Wilemon-Sullivan kill herself, Stubbendieck’s father only had one guess, saying:
“I assume it was love.”
Wilemon-Sullivan’s children were reportedly being watched by someone and were under the impression she was on a “vacation to Key West.” Now her family members say they are calling for officials to take Stubbendieck to court “to the fullest extent allowable under Nebraska law.”
You can watch KETV’s story below: