Police report talks of Cargiles' financial troubles
3:59 PM, Jan 15, 2013
A newly released police report on the shocking suicides of a popular Black Mountain doctor and her husband said the couple indicated they had financial problems before they took their lives this summer.
The medical examiner in Galveston, Texas, where the bodies of Dr. Leslie Cargile, 57, and her husband William Allen Cargile, 58, were found August 24, ruled their deaths suicides, saying they had overdosed on prescription painkillers and other drugs.
No suicide note was found and police and friends said they didn't know why the Cargiles, who ran the seemingly successful FamilyCare Home medical practice on U.S. Highway 70, would take their own lives. Family members have not responded to requests for comment.
But the Galveston police report released last week to the Black Mountain News talks about "severe financial trouble." The part of the Texas police report written by Sgt. Mark Pilsner also says the Cargiles made hotel reservations past Galveston and were believed to have a gun.
"I learned that (the Henderson County Sheriff's Office) found they had made reservations at a Laredo, Texas, motel, but never had checked in," Pilsner said.
"I learned that a .357 caliber handgun was also missing from the residence. I learned the Cargiles lived in an expensive home, and were believed to be in severe financial trouble."
The Cargiles were also known to have had more than $1,800 in cash on them and to have used $1,111 of it to pay for five nights at the Holiday Express in Galveston.
While the recently released report offers more insight on the Cargiles' final days, it raises even more questions about their suicide that will likely never be answered, Henderson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Captain Frank Stout said.
"We never truly delve into the 'whys' of it," Stout said. "We were contacted as far as the missing persons aspect of it. That was our part of the investigation."
Once the couple was found dead in Galveston, police there took over, he said. Pilsner did not return a call seeking comment about his report.
Henderson investigators said they learned about financial problems from notes the Cargiles left at their home. One of the notes was to a friend who lived at their home and helped take care of the house. One was to their son, Kenton, who lived in Columbia, S.C., and another was to their son, Eliot, who lives in Hong Kong. Neither has responded to messages left on Facebook or calls.
The notes "appeared to allude to financial issues and consequences," Stout said.
Because the notes were personal and there was no criminal investigation, deputies did not take the notes, he said.
Stout said he knew of no investigations that had been looking into the Cargiles' finances. Medical staff said the practice was in good shape.
The couple lived in a home on Lake Summit in southern Henderson with a tax value of $1.5 million. The Henderson County Clerk of Superior Court's Office had no records indicating the property has been foreclosed on or is in foreclosure.
Allen Cargile was listed as president of Bright Development Corp., a construction company with the same address as FamilyCare Home. Eliot Cargile was shown as the primary. On a Web site for Land and Exploration, LLC, which used the same street address, Allen Cargile was said to be a real estate broker and finance manager "as well as an experienced investment analyst" with 20 years experience building homes in Western North Carolina.
After they were reported missing, police accessed their financial card records and found they had stopped at an Alabama hotel. They also made reservations at a Laredo, Texas hotel, Stout said, but never made it, stopping first in Galveston.
On August 19, the day they checked in, the desk clerk told police the couple asked him for a restaurant recommendation, according to part of the report by Galveston Detective Nicholas McDermott. The clerk made reservations for a restaurant called Fisherman's Wharf, the report said.
When the couple returned they tipped the clerk $10 and "appeared to be in a decent mood" and "did not appear to be intoxicated pr for there to be anything out of the ordinary," the report said.
In the afternoon of August 24, when the Cargiles hadn't checked out, hotel staff went to the room. Staff found a placard on the door with the handwritten words, "Do not disturb until noon Thursday, Thank you! Do not disturb please!"
Staff attempted to enter the room but found the doors locked from inside so maintenance personnel had to force their way in. That's when the Cargiles' bodies were found and police were called.
Along with prescription medicines and packages, police found a .357 Smith & Wesson pistol and $800 cash. Outside was the couple's 2006 black Mercedes S500.
Timeline of a tragedy
- Aug. 20 - Black Mountain doctor Leslie Cargile doesn't come to work at her practice FamilyCare Home on U.S. 70 and cannot be reached. Concerned staff calls police.
- Aug. 22 - The doctor and her husband, William Allen Cargile, are officially reported missing. Friends and staff believe they went somewhere over the weekend to celebrate an anniversary. No destination was given. Financial card records show a stop at an Alabama hotel.
- Aug. 24 - Cargiles are found dead in a Galveston, Texas, hotel. Those who knew the Cargiles are dumbfounded. Cargile's practice, which her husband helped manage, is closed.
Aug. 27 - A Galveston medical examiner says suicide likely, though no note was left.
- Sept. 6 - The practice is reopened under Dr. Drew Schnyder with approval of Cargiles' son, Eliot, who has power of attorney.
- Oct. 24 - Medical examiner ruled Leslie Cargile's death suicide by overdose of painkillers and other drugs. Later, William Allen, who died a few days earlier, also ruled to have committed suicide by overdosing.
- Jan. 10 - Galveston police release final report after officially closing case. Details include possible financial trouble which Cargiles spoke about in notes left to family and a friend at their Henderson County home.