SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Jerry Nelson felt hopeful after talking with a detective.

In 2008, his brother Doug died from drinking anti-freeze, but how that happened remained a mystery.  The death certificate listed the case as “unknown.”  

Jerry Nelson suspects it was foul play.

“He got very sick in the evening,” recalled Nelson. “He was unconscious in the morning and nothing happened until noon the next day.”

That’s when he said Doug was rushed to the hospital after his wife called 911.  But it was too late. Doug slipped into a coma and died.

“Finally it came out that he had anti-freeze in his bloodstream,” said Jerry Nelson.  

He said his brother’s wife told him that Doug drank from a cup containing anti-freeze.

“I asked ‘why would he leave a cup by the sink’ and she said he put it down the drain to prevent the pipes from freezing,” said Nelson.  “But this took place in May (it) wasn’t pipe freezing weather. There was just a lot of suspicious events, somewhat erratic behavior taking place around the events that happened.”

Shortly thereafter, Nelson met with a detective with the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office.  He said they talked about Doug’s wife.

“He said he knows she’s guilty of poisoning your brother but we’re concerned that we don’t have all the evidence now to prove that and we’re about double jeopardy,” Nelson said.

But 12 years have passed and the Nelson family is still waiting for answers.  Late last year, the Utah Cold Case Coalition began investigating the case.  Based on their research, the co-founder didn’t find anything to make her believe it was either an accident or a suicide.

“We’ve also been looking at evidence that suggests this could be a homicide,” said Karra Porter. “Right now we are focusing most of our attention on that theory.”

But what was the motive? Jerry Nelson believed money was behind his brother’s death.  He said combined Doug Nelson was worth more than a million dollars in life and accidental insurance and his estate.  He said the beneficiary was his wife.  Porter said she found documents where she had filed for bankruptcy prior to being married with Doug Nelson. 

“He had recently married and the person that he had recently married had been experiencing financial difficulties,” said Porter.

Then Nelson went to court to block the wife from receiving Doug’s assets.  In 2009, a Utah County judge denied her those benefits because she was a “person of interest in a criminal investigation.” 

But for some reason the investigation stalled.  Nelson attempted to stay in touch with detectives but interest waned and Nelson had no idea why.  He is still waiting for answers.

“I know I can’t bring my brother back,” Nelson said. “I know I can’t bring back a father to his son, a grandfather to his  grandchildren. But if we can somehow get some resolution to this, some justice then at least we’ve done our part.”

Attempts to reach Doug’s wife were unsuccessful.  A detective with the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office said they have now re-opened the case but offered no further information.

LATEST POSTS: