ALBEMARLE, N.C. North Carolina investigators said a woman with five dead spouses had long been separated from her first husband when he was killed: Betty Neumar's first spouse was fatally shot in 1970, not in 1952 as they originally believed.
Stanly County Sheriff's Detective Scott Williams said Friday that another man by the same name died in 1952 in the Ohio town where the couple lived.
But investigators' work and additional public records show the Clarence Malone who was married to Neumar was fatally shot 18 years later in Medina, Ohio. The case remains unsolved. At the time Neumar was married to her fourth husband, Harold Gentry.
"She told us that her first husband died of cancer in 1952. We know that's not true," Williams said.
The 76-year-old Neumar was charged last month in North Carolina with solicitation of murder in the 1986 shooting death of Gentry. She's being held on $500,000 bond in the Stanly County jail.
North Carolina investigators have urged authorities elsewhere to investigate deaths of the other spouses, including her fifth and most recent husband: He died last year of an infection that could indicate he was poisoned.
Police are still trying to piece together Neumar's life in Ohio, Florida and Georgia states where she was married and talking to friends and family members.
Records discovered by The Associated Press on Friday show her first marriage was rocky.
Shortly after their wedding on Nov. 25, 1950, they moved in with her parents in Ironton. She was 18, he was 19 and working for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad.
But on Dec. 15, 1951, she filed a court complaint claiming her husband had abused her. She asked a judge to order him to stop "going about or upon the premises" where they lived, and to stop "disposing" of her property. It's unclear what happened to that complaint or when the marriage broke up. There's no record of their divorce being filed in Lawrence County.
Family members of Gentry and John Neumar husband No. 5 said she told them she was only married once and that her first husband died of cancer.
"She said she nursed him the whole time," said Al Gentry, Harold Gentry's brother.
After Clarence Malone and Betty Neumar split, he remarried twice and opened a body shop near Medina, a small town about 35 miles southwest of Cleveland. He was shot once in the back of the head outside his shop Nov. 27, 1970. His death was ruled a homicide. Police said there were no signs of robbery.
After her marriage to Malone dissolved in the early 1950s, Neumar married John Flynn, who died in 1954. Police say she had two children by the early marriages, including a son with Malone.
Her third husband, Richard Sills, was found dead in his apartment in the Florida Keys in 1965. Neumar told police they were alone in a room arguing when he pulled out a gun and shot himself. Authorities are reinvestigating the case, which concluded Sills committed suicide.
Gentry, the fourth husband, was found shot to death inside the couple's home in 1986. Three years later, she married her fifth husband, John Neumar. He died in October, and authorities in Augusta, Ga., are investigating whether his death officially listed as listed as sepsis, bacterial infection of the body's blood and tissues might have another cause, such as arsenic poisoning.
Neumar's attorney, Charles Parnell, did not return calls seeking comment Friday.