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A Missouri doctor’s death is steeped in mystery and speculation

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Margaret Stafford and John Hanna went beyond the news of the day to look deep into the life of a Missouri doctor who mysteriously disappeared and was found dead in a lake nine days later: They dug through court records, attended a memorial service and talked to cryptocurrency experts to try to find answers. They found out that he was a complex person — and many facets of his life led to even more speculation about his death. They talked to his brother, Richard, multiple times. They enlisted the help of Jim Salter to dig up divorce records and malpractice cases.

Summer Ballentine and Lisa Baumann also helped with making calls. They learned the doctor had only recently been divorced — his second divorce from the same woman — and learned he would have to pay nearly $20,000 a month in child support and alimony. They learned he has eight kids. And days before his disappearance he got engaged to another woman, who is also pregnant. They also learned he’d been disciplined for pushing a weight-loss theory that doesn’t have FDA approval, and he’d been sued for malpractice. And he founded a cryptocurrency venture that was worth nearly $1 million at the time of his death. The tale yielded no answers, but it fascinated AP’s audience.

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