Fisherman Says Wife Fell Overboard. Cops Disagree

Christopher Leclair charged with criminal homicide
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 1, 2017 12:59 PM CDT
Fisherman Charged in Wife's Lake Killing Despite No Body
Christopher Leclair, a commercial fisherman, is jailed on a charge of criminal homicide in the presumed death of Karen Leclair, his wife of nearly 26 years.   (Uncredited)

A commercial fisherman's story about his wife disappearing into the depths of Lake Erie on a boating trip isn't adding up, and Pennsylvania authorities believe they know why. They say he's the one who put her there. The AP reports Christopher Leclair, 48, is jailed on a charge of criminal homicide in the presumed death of his wife of nearly 26 years, Karen, whose body has not been found. Leclair told authorities he and his wife were on a trip June 11 on his 52-foot craft when she got a queasy stomach and decided to sit on a bucket perched on the side. He said when he glanced over to check on her 15 minutes later, she was gone, having apparently fallen overboard. He then contacted the Coast Guard.

Two days later, a review of surveillance video led state police to arrest Leclair. The video showed he got on the boat alone that Sunday. The same dock cameras, however, showed Leclair getting on the boat with his wife the day before—and returning hours later without her. Investigators believe her body is still in the lake, possibly "weighted ... down with nets." "If he dropped her off on another dock or whatever, he surely would be more cooperative," Lt. Wayne Kline said. Leclair acknowledged he's been having an affair with a 44-year-old woman for several months. Leclair's girlfriend told police he mentioned a $30,000 life insurance policy on his wife about two months ago and talked to her about moving in with him the day his wife supposedly disappeared. Authorities are still searching for Karen Leclair's body. (More homicide stories.)

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