MIAMI - The ex-wife of a northeast Arkansas man in federal custody in Florida following the disappearance of four fishing boat crew members issued a statement yesterday saying she didn't know if her former husband is capable of murder.
The statements from Michelle Rowe of Batesville were her most extensive comments since her ex-husband, Kirby Archer of Strawberry, was arrested after his rescue at sea along with another man Monday. Archer is charged with fleeing prosecution for the January theft of more than $92,000 from the Batesville Wal-Mart store where he had worked as an assistant manager.
The FBI is investigating what happened after Archer and 19-year-old Guillermo Zarabozo of Florida paid $4,000 cash to charter a fishing boat. The boat's captain and three crew members have been the subject of a massive Coast Guard sea search.
Rowe says she has not lived with Archer in more than four years and does not know if he is or was capable of taking the life of another human being. She says she does not know Zarabozo. She says that during her marriage to Archer, he mentioned on a few occasions a boy from Cuba whose family he befriended when Archer was a military police investigator in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But she says she's not sure of that boy's identity.