CONTRA COSTA — A 54-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of hiring someone to kill her estranged wife to put an end to an increasingly acrimonious divorce, authorities say.
The Bethel Island woman was arrested Jan. 11 on suspicion of murder solicitation, records show. She was taken into custody at her home around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, according to jail records.
According to authorities, the alleged murder plot came about after the 54-year-old grew frustrated with how her divorce case was going. Court records show the woman and her wife had each taken domestic violence restraining orders out against the other as the 2022 divorce case unfolded.
Police say that the 54-year-old allegedly offered another woman up to $30,000 to murder her estranged wife. And they allege she had a specific plan in mind: to have the would-be hitwoman steal a car and run the ex-wife over as she walked home from a corner bar.
Part of her plan, authorities said, was to make it look like a routine car accident or random hit-and-run crash.
On social media, the woman describes herself as an “animal lover” who is “following Jesus.” She once ran a local antique shop and a pet dog sitting business.
As of Friday, she was not charged and remained in a Contra Costa jail lieu of $1 million bail. It is unclear if she has retained an attorney.
A spokesman for the Contra Costa District Attorney said law enforcement has not yet asked for charges to be filed against her. Prosecutors have until Tuesday morning to file criminal charges or she will be released from custody.
No one else has yet been arrested, and the investigation remains open, authorities say.