Lethal levels of Benadryl found in deceased North Idaho man whose wife remains at large

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Larry and Lori Isenberg in a photo posted to Larry's Facebook in 2015
  • Larry and Lori Isenberg in a photo posted to Larry's Facebook in 2015

Larry Isenberg's system contained lethal levels of the drug diphenhydramine, an antihistamine commonly sold under the brand name Benadryl, when his body was recovered from Lake Coeur d'Alene this past March, according to a warrant filed recently in Spokane County.

Spokane County Sheriff's Detective Kirk Keyser cites a report from Kootenai County Coroner Dr. Warren Keene, which says that Isenberg's body contained 7,100 nanograms of the drug. Therapeutic levels are around 100 to 1,000 nanograms, according to the warrant.

The presence of the drug, as well as other details contained in the warrant, describe Isenberg's lifestyle and conversations leading up to his death. Those descriptions seem to contradict previous statements from his wife, Lori Isenberg, who told police that he fell overboard while trying to fix their boat's motor during an early morning boat ride in February.

Lori Isenberg
  • Lori Isenberg
Lori Isenberg is believed to be the last person to see her husband alive and is currently charged with embezzling about half a million dollars from the North Idaho Housing Coalition. She has been on the lam since May 25. There is a $500,000 warrant for her arrest in Kootenai County.

Larry Isenberg's death is being investigated by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office because two of Lori Isenberg's daughters live in Spokane Valley.

The warrant filed in Spokane is seeking evidence of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree theft by obtaining cell phone data from two of Lori Isenberg's daughters, Jessica Barnes and Amber Hosking.

Spokane County Detective Keyser's warrant cites information from Kootenai County Detective Kirk Kelso, laying out a case against Lori Isenberg, who is described by a close friend as a "Mama Bear," when it came to her daughters.
  • Michael Holmes, a longtime friend of the couple, told detectives of a tension in the Isenberg's relationship over Lori's "constant enabling and giving of money to help out her daughters," over which Larry often expressed his frustrations.
  • Janette Marlow, one of the Isenberg's next door neighbors, told police that she noticed in the past few months that the couple no longer took walks together, which was their daily routine. Marlow also told police that a few days after Larry Isenberg went missing, his son, Dean Isenberg told her that Lori Isenberg asked for his help moving his father's belongings out of their house.
  • In January, about a month before Larry Isenberg's disappearance, handwritten changes to Larry Isenberg's will reallocated his estate so that 80 percent went to Lori Isenberg's six children while 20 percent went to Larry's two children.
  • The morning Larry Isenberg disappeared, his daughter received a text message with a photo of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Lori Isenberg told police that her husband took the photo and sent the text, but further analysis of her cell phone data show that the photo was taken with her phone.
  • That same morning, a little more than an hour after the message to Larry Isenberg's daughter, Holmes, the longtime friend, also received a text message from his phone. In it, Larry Isenberg says he's feeling better after a possible "mini stroke," and sent an emoji.
Spokane County Medical Examiner Sally Aiken found no evidence of a stroke, and detectives' analysis of Larry and Lori Isenberg's text messaging styles show that Larry never used emojis, while Lori used them frequently.

Marlow, the neighbor, who is also a surgical nurse, also told police that Larry Isenberg was "very very" diligent about his health and would have gone to a doctor, urgent care or asked her about the alleged "mini stroke."

The Kootenai County Coroner's report lists both the cause and manner of Larry Isenberg's death as "undetermined."