POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lake Wales man allegedly strangled his wife to death after she threatened to leave him after 50 years together.
At about 7:30 p.m., authorities say Ronald Strouse called 911 to report that his wife had died after they had a fight.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrived to find Strouse sitting on the porch and his wife Susan Strouse dead in the living room, covered in bruises.
Ronald Strouse told deputies the couple began arguing the night before after she allegedly threatened to leave him and take all of their money without giving an explanation.
The following day, Strouse said he confronted his wife as she sat on the couch and wrestled her to the floor. Once she was on her back, Strouse said he straddled her mid-section and choked her.
Strouse said his wife grabbed his arms and hands and dug her fingernails into him, then she stopped struggling and became motionless, so he stopped strangling her. He told investigators he believed the choking may have caused her death, but an autopsy will be performed to make that determination.
Strouse was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He will have his first appearance before a judge at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
“This was a particularly brutal murder. We aren’t sure why Ronald Strouse murdered his wife of 50 years, but one thing we are sure of is that he will be held accountable for his actions,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.