Husband charged with murder; FBI arrests man in case of Colo. hiking death fall

Published 12:13 am Friday, November 7, 2014

NATCHEZ — The husband of a woman with Natchez connections who died in a mysterious mountain fall two years ago has been charged with murder by federal authorities.

Toni Henthorn, 50, died Sept. 29, 2012, after falling approximately 50 feet down a steep slope during a hike with her husband in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Toni’s husband, Harold Henthorn, said at the time of her death his wife was in the process of having a picture taken when she fell. He was the only witness to the fall.

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The coroner’s report ruled “homicide cannot be excluded.”

The National Park Service and the Federal Bureau of investigation have been investigating the matter since then, and federal authorities arrested Harold Henthorn on a charge of first-degree murder Thursday.

Toni Henthorn was a 1980 graduate of Trinity Episcopal Day School. She was working as an ophthalmologist in Colorado at the time of her death.

Toni Henthorn’s brother, Todd Bertolet, said the family received notification Thursday morning the federal grand jury had indicted Harold Henthorn the previous day.

“We have always had the utmost confidence in some of the very talented people with the FBI and the National Park Service, and we always felt justice would come,” Bertolet said. “This is certainly a satisfactory day knowing that justice is moving forward for my sister. We still have a long way to go, but at least we are going down the right path.”

Toni isn’t the first of Harold Henthorn’s wives to die in an apparent accident. His first wife, Sarah Lynn Henthorn, died in 1995 when the jack slipped from under the car as Harold was changing the tire.

Harold Henthorn reportedly told investigators at the time Sarah Henthorn was looking for something under the car, possibly a lug nut, at the time of her death.

A copy of Harold Henthorn’s indictment was not available on the public access to court electronic records Thursday.