Larry Isenberg had lethal amounts of diphenhydramine, present in Benadryl, in his system at the time of death (Image via NBC)

NBC Dateline: How did Larry Isenberg die?

Larry Isenberg seemingly died of accidental drowning while sailing in Lake Coeur d'Alene with his wife of 14 years, Lori, to watch the sunrise in February 2018. According to Lori, Isenberg wasn't feeling too well and fell overboard. His body was found three weeks later.

A subsequent autopsy showed no signs of drowning, and instead, revealed that Isenberg possibly died of benadryl poisoning. Around the same time, his wife Lori and her daughters from previous relationships were embroiled in an embezzlement case and even pleaded guilty to charges, receiving short sentences.


Lori's suspicious behavior, attempts to liquidate Isenberg's assets, and incriminating internet search history drew suspicion. In 2021, she eventually entered an Alford Plea to second-degree murder while already serving time as a convicted embezzler.

And just like that, Lori and Larry’s love affair was over…
Join @Dateline_Keith for a classic #Dateline tonight at 7/6c.

NBC Dateline is scheduled to revisit the case of Larry Isenberg's death by poisoning this Sunday in an episode titled Kill Switch, which will air on the channel at 7:00 pm ET. The synopsis states:

"When a man goes overboard on a romantic sunrise cruise with his wife on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, investigators think his death may not have been an accident. Keith Morrison reports Sunday, May 28 at 7/6c on NBC."


Autopsy revealed Larry Isenberg had lethal amounts of Benadryl in his system at the time of death

This is about luck that ran out in the frigid water of Lake Coeur d’Alene…
Watch tonight at 7/6c on a classic #Dateline.

In the frigid morning hours of February 13, 2018, Larry Isenberg and his wife Lori woke up early to watch the sunrise at Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. However, in a terrible accident, the former went overboard and apparently drowned.

His wife Lori later told authorities that Isenberg fell off the boat while trying to fix the motor and disappeared in the deep and dark icy water. She also added that he wasn't feeling too well and likely had a medical episode, which caused him to fall into the water.


According to The Daily Beast, Lori Isenberg called officers two hours after the incident, claiming she did not want to leave the area where her husband had drowned and that she had left her phone at home. Following her call, authorities searched the lake but failed to locate Isenberg's body after an initial sweep.

A whole basket of curiosities...
Tonight at 7/6c on a 2-hour classic #Dateline mystery with @Dateline_Keith.

The search continued for about three weeks as authorities desperately scanned the lake's bottom to find the 68-year-old man. In the meantime, on February 26, Lori Isenberg was charged with multiple counts of forgery and grand theft for embezzling half-a-million dollars from a nonprofit, North Idaho Housing Coalition (NIHC), where she previously worked as executive director.

After authorities found Isenberg's body three weeks later on March 1, an autopsy revealed that he had 7,000 nanograms of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine found in allergy medications like Benadryl, in his system at the time of his death. This is 70 times the recommended amount. Further, the report failed to show any signs of drowning in the victim.

Larry Isenberg's wife Lori was already serving time for embezzlement when she was charged with murder

“The level of betrayal was unbelievable.”
Join us Sunday at 7/6c for a 2-hour #Dateline mystery on NBC.

Just three days after Lori's arrest, Larry Isenberg's body was found in Lake Coeur d'Alene. However, by the time the news broke, Lori had fled the region and was on the run for about two months before surrendering herself to authorities in July. Reports state that out of the six daughters from her previous relationships, four had assisted the embezzler in her crimes.

In early 2019, Lori and four of her daughters then confessed to wire fraud and pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them. The former was sentenced to five years in prison, while her daughters, Tracy Tesch, April Barnes, Amber Hosking, and Jessica Barnes, were each handed three years of probation and several hours of community service.

Authorities, who suspected Lori's involvement in her husband's murder, later found that, following Larry Isenberg's death, she liquidated their joint accounts and transferred other community property to herself, her daughters, and her sister. Soon, she started moving things out and wanted to sell their house.

Sunday on a classic #Dateline at 7/6c...

Moreover, they found handwritten changes in Isenberg's will which were made about a month before his death. The changes redistributed his assets, with 80% going to Lori's children and the rest to the victim's two children. They also found the wife's incriminating search history with recent searches showing subjects related to water currents, drowning, and boat accidents.


While at federal prison, serving time for the fraud and embezzlement charges, Lori Isenberg was charged with premeditated murder for allegedly "poisoning him [Larry Isenberg], torturing him and/or lying in wait" in February 2020. A year later, she entered an Alford Plea for second-degree murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years.

Larry Isenberg's murder case is set to feature on NBC Dateline this Sunday, May 28, at 7 pm ET.


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Edited by
Susrita Das
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