Murder Suspect to 911: 'I Think I Killed My...'

He says he woke to find wife dead after taking cough medicine
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2017 5:16 PM CDT
Updated Sep 5, 2017 4:41 AM CDT
Murder Suspect to 911: 'I Think I Killed My...'
Matthew James Phelps of Raleigh, N.C.   (Raleigh Police Department)

An aspiring North Carolina pastor has been charged with murder after confessing in disbelief to a 911 dispatcher that he thought he killed his wife in his sleep. According to the News & Observer, Matthew James Phelps says he took a dose—"more than I should have"—of Coricidin Cough and Cold medicine to help him sleep, then woke to find himself covered in blood. His wife, Lauren Hugelmaier, was not breathing on the floor. "I think I killed my…" he said on his call to 911. "I had a dream and then I turned on the lights and she’s dead on the floor," Phelps explained. When asked how, he replied, "There’s blood all over me, and there’s a bloody knife on the bed. I think I did it."

"I can’t believe I did this," he began repeating. "Oh God. She didn’t deserve this. Why?” People reports that Phelps is being held without bail at Wake County Detention Center. He is expected to appear in court Tuesday. Phelps and Hugelmaier were married in November 2016, per their the Knot wedding page, where photos of the couple show them happily mugging for the camera over holidays and vacations. Family and friends are flooding Hugelmaier’s Facebook page with photos and memories, with one person describing her as "one of the purest souls one could ever meet." A YouCaring page has been set up to help “ease the financial burden for her grieving family.” (More murder stories.)

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