Woman's Mysterious Death Ignites Her Family's Quest for Truth

PHOTO: Shirley Seitz and Michael Wohlschlaeger
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What happened on a street called Camelot in Loxley, Ala., was not a fairytale, but the mystery of a sudden, unexplained death that has ignited one family's quest for the truth.

Shirley Seitz' last marriage had recently ended in divorce when she met Michael Wohlschlaeger. Seitz, then 55, and Wohlschlaeger, then 54, became newly-weds again, just three months after first meeting. The two had both been down the aisle four times previously.

"I didn't like him at all," Myrtle Thomas, Seitz' mother, told ABC News' "20/20." "I just have to admit that."

Wohlschlaeger, having just moved to Alabama, told Seitz he was a chiropractor when he lived in Florida. According to Seitz' family, he apparently didn't yet have a place to live in Alabama and was still looking for a job.

"As far as we can tell, he came into the marriage with a wore-out pickup truck, and a bunch of debt," said Rickey Thomas, Seitz' younger brother.

Wohlschlaeger's alleged financial problems were especially troubling to Seitz' family because one of Seitz' ex-husbands, Gene Seitz, had died and left her with an inheritance of $1 million.

"Yes, I was worried about her money," said Sharon Yeomans, Seitz' daughter. "I mean, he come into her life with the clothes on his back."

Seitz paid for her own engagement ring when Wohlschlaeger proposed, their wedding rings, and their house on Camelot Court, according to Seitz' family. They said Seitz even made payments to one of Wohlschlaeger's ex-wives.

However, four years into their marriage, Seitz' s health took a turn for the worse. In an audio interview recorded with police investigators months later, Wohlschlaeger said that Seitz had been ill for weeks, including food poisoning and thyroid problems.

"She gets bad migraines maybe two or three times a year that sometimes will last...three, sometimes four days," Wohlschlaeger told police.

Seitz' brother, Houston "Junior" Thomas, and her mother drove five hours into southern Alabama to see what was going on with her.

Myrtle recollected, "I called my son and told him, 'She hasn't called me in three days, and I'm going down there.'"

When they arrived, Seitz was so sick that she was unable to get up and open the door, her family said. Wohlschlaeger told them that Seitz may have fallen down the stairs and knocked down a potted plant, while he was out.

Myrtle and Wohlschlaeger nursed Seitz through that difficult weekend in Feb. 2010, with Wohlschlaeger giving Seitz migraine medicine that seemed to help. By Sunday night, she was even sitting up and eating.

"I said, "your head's better, and you better lay down and go to sleep... It's nine o'clock, and we don't want that to start back again." Myrtle recalled. "And that's the last words I ever said to her."

The next morning, Wohlschlaeger, who said he was sleeping on the couch, went into the bedroom he shared with his wife and found Seitz unresponsive.

"So I walked over and I turned on the light," Wohlschlaeger later told police. "Her lips were already blue."

Seitz, just 59 years old, was dead.

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