RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina man who reportedly aspired to be a pastor has been charged with murdering his wife after calling 911 in the middle of the night Friday to state that he had awakened from a dream to find his wife stabbed to death.
“I had a dream and then I turned on the lights and she’s dead on the floor,” Matthew Phelps told the emergency operator. “I have blood all over me and there’s a bloody knife on the bed. I think I did it. I can’t believe this.”
He said that he had taken too much cold medicine the night before, which he used as a sleep aid.
“I took more medicine than I should have,” Phelps explained. “I took Coricidin. I know it can make you feel good, so—a lot of times I can’t sleep.”
Breaking down in tears, he told the operator that his wife “didn’t deserve this” and that he was afraid to see if she was dead.
“I’m too scared to get too close to her,” Phelps said. “I’m so scared.”
According to his Facebook page, Phelps, 28, had studied missions and evangelism at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, Kentucky. His wife, Lauren, 29, served as a Sunday school teacher at the church they attended.
The two had been married for just under a year and often posted happy photographs of themselves together online.
Phelps is being held at Wake County Detention Center without bail and faces his first hearing on Tuesday. His wife was buried on Monday, and a family friend has created a YouCaring page to help raise funds to cover the funeral expenses. As of press time, $6,800 had been raised of the $20,000 goal.
“I will miss the lively spark that I saw in your ministries. I am so sorry that we will not see that again,” one donor wrote on the page. “We will all miss you, but we will see you again. Thank you for the love that you gave us here on earth.”
“Lauren was one of the kindest souls, with one of the biggest hearts, and most contagious smiles. She will be dearly missed by so many. My heart goes out to her family,” another stated.
Representatives for Bayer, the makers of Coricidin, have released a statement expressing the company’s condolences but rejecting any inference that their cold medicine could cause users to behave violently.
“Bayer extends our deepest sympathies to this family,” Bayer stated. “Patient safety is our top priority, and we continually monitor adverse events regarding all of our products. There is no evidence to suggest that Coricidin is associated with violent behavior.”