Neumar has died, family says

FILE - In this June 10, 2008 file photo provided by the Augusta, Ga., Police Department, Betty Neumar is shown at her booking in Augusta, Ga. Neumar's son-in-law Terry Sanders says Neumar, who left a trail of five dead husbands in five states over decades, has died after an illness, The Associated Press reports Monday, June 13, 2011. Sheriff Rick Burris says authorities are looking into her death. (AP Photo/Augusta Police Department, File)

Betty Neumar, a former Augusta resident questioned about four of her husbands' deaths and indicted in another, died Sunday night, according to a relative.

Neumar, 79, was arrested in 2008 at her Augusta home on Cambridge Court after a North Carolina grand jury returned an indictment charging her with solicitation of murder. The indictment said she needed cash and was trying to collect the $20,000 life insurance policy of her fourth husband, Harold Gentry.

Law enforcement officials from Florida, Ohio and Augusta reopened their cases into the deaths of her other husbands after realizing that she had married five times and that all of her spouses were dead. Her fifth husband died in Augusta, but investigators, after testing his ashes, ruled it wasn't a homicide.

Gentry's brother, Al Gentry, successfully pushed for the case to be reopened after a 25-year struggle.

"This has gone on for so long, it about drove me crazy," Gentry said Monday. "It's really been on my back the whole time."

Repeated delays in the case and Neumar's poor health combined to rob Gentry of his chance to see Neumar go to trial.

"I'm numb," said Gentry, one of eight siblings who grew up in rural North Carolina. "I wanted justice, and we're not going to get it."

Terry Sanders, Neumar's son-in-law, told The Associated Press that Neumar died in a hospital in Louisiana.

Stanly County, N.C., Sheriff Rick Burris said authorities were looking into her death.

Ginger Efrid, the assistant district attorney in Stanly County, said prosecutors in the Albemarle community east of Charlotte had been told Neumar died but were awaiting a death certificate from her attorney, Charles Parnell.

Messages left Monday for Parnell were not returned.

Sanders, who is married to Neumar's daughter, Peggy, and lives in Ocala, Fla., said he didn't know about funeral arrangements.

"I'm not sure where she's going to be buried. Peggy and (her sister) Kelli, are taking care of all that," he said.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

Betty Neumar was arrested at her Augusta home in 2008.

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