Just hours before she was found unresponsive in a bathtub, a prominent Denver woman had been told her husband had an affair after meeting a woman on the dating website, Tinder, according to court documents unsealed Monday and obtained by 9Wants to Know.
Stacy Feldman’s 2015 death was originally classified as “undetermined” – but an outside expert brought in by Denver police and prosecutors conclude d she’d been strangled or suffocated.
That doctor found injuries to her upper extremities “consistent with knee pressure being applied from a straddled assailant.”
Those details are among the revelations spelled out in an eight-page arrest affidavit for Robert W. Feldman, 53, who is being held without bail after being charged Feb. 16 with first-degree murder in his wife’s death.
David Kaplan, an attorney for Robert Feldman, could not be reached for comment Monday.
Stacy Feldman, a mother of two, had been president of the parent-teacher organization at Southmoor Elementary School in Denver and worked for PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, a non-profit organization that funds family support, treatments and the search for a cure for a liver condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.
The first sign of trouble came mid-afternoon on Sunday, March 1, 2015, when Robert Feldman called 911 to report he’d returned home to find his wife collapsed in the shower with the water running. A doctor at Denver Health Medical Center pronounced her dead just before 4 p.m. that day in the couple’s bedroom.
The affidavit obtained by 9Wants to Know lays out the nearly three-year investigation of Stacy Feldman’s death, detailing a number of contradictions and unexplained questions.
According to Denver police Det. Randal Denison, who wrote the affidavit, Feldman allegedly interfered with paramedics and appeared to a Denver police detective “to be acting as if (in) shock or confused.” At one point, Denison wrote, Robert Feldman walked away “as if he was confused, giving your affiant the impression he was over acting in an effort to avoid speaking with him.”
Firefighters at the scene that day later described Robert Feldman as “over dramatic” and “purposely not cooperative,” according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Feldman told a police officer he’d left home that morning around 8:30 to take the couple’s children to a carnival at Temple Sinai and returned around 3 in the afternoon. That’s when he said he found his wife unresponsive in the shower with the water running.
Robert Feldman told police he was unable to see if his wife was face up or face down in the tub but that he pulled her from the shower, called for help and tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation while waiting for paramedics to arrive, according to the affidavit.
He also told police that his wife had consumed edible marijuana the previous night then had gone to a party, where she drank alcohol. After returning home, he said she had more marijuana, according to the affidavit.
At the autopsy the next day, a forensic pathologist could not find any internal injuries that would explain how the woman died and stated that further testing would be needed.
In the meantime, Det. Denison spoke with Stacy Feldman’s sister, who said that Robert Feldman told her his wife’s death had been ruled an accident, that she had slipped on conditioner in the shower and drowned. That same conversation, however, yielded contradictions to some of Robert Feldman’s statements to police, according to the affidavit. For instance, Stacy Feldman’s sister said she’d gotten a call from Temple Sinai, the family’s synagogue, because no one had come to pick up his children the day of the carnival. She also said Robert Feldman told family members that he had gone home at noon to walk the family’s dog.
Then – a little more than three weeks after Stacy Feldman’s death – the detective received an anonymous letter. The letter writer claimed that Stacy Feldman had texted a friend about meeting at the temple at noon the day she died and that someone at the church had made phone calls attempting to locate someone to pick up the couple’s children, according to the affidavit.
Detectives ultimately confirmed both of those assertions – a friend later told detectives Stacy Feldman was supposed to meet her at Temple Sinai that day but didn’t show, and people at Temple Sinai had left multiple messages that day in an effort to get someone to pick up the couple’s children.
On May 4, 2015, Dr. Kelly Kobylanski, who performed the autopsy, completed her work and classified Stacy Feldman’s death as “undetermined.” Dr. Kobylanski found both underlying medical conditions – like cardiovascular disease – and multiple injuries – hemorrhages and abrasions. But Dr. Koylanski concluded that the injuries could have been the result of efforts to resuscitate Stacy Feldman and that drowning “cannot be completely excluded.”
Blood tests found multiple prescription drugs in her system – but no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. If Stacy Feldman had consumed edibles the day before her death as Robert had told police, it would have been expected to be in her system, according to the affidavit.
That same month, according to the affidavit, Robert Feldman told a detective that he’d last talked to his wife around 8:30 a.m. the day she died, that she was tired and was asleep when he took the couple’s children to Temple Sinai. He said in that interview that he left the synagogue between 9:30 and 10, got home around noon, changed clothes in a laundry room, called out his wife and didn’t get a response, and cleaned the garage before going to a park to work out.
Four months after Stacy Feldman’s death, a woman called Metro Denver Crime Stoppers and said she’d met a man she identified as Robert Feldman on the dating website, Tinder. She said that she’d had dinner at her home with Feldman on Feb. 26, 2015, and they then had sex that night, according to the affidavit.
He had told the woman he’d met on the dating website he was divorced, but after she sensed her was “blowing her off”, she determined that he was married and located an e-mail address for Stacy Feldman, Det. Denison wrote in the affidavit. That woman told detectives she sent an e-mail to Stacy Feldman on March 1, 2015. After confirming the couple was still married, the woman sent Stacy Feldman copies of e-mails she had exchanged with Robert Feldman, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit also said Stacy Feldman called the woman that morning, “told her Robert cheated on her before and she was ‘done with him.’”
A few hours later, Robert Feldman called 911 to report finding his wife in the tub.
Despite ongoing investigation through 2016, it wasn’t until late last year that that outside expert – whose name was redacted in the affidavit – reviewed the autopsy report, toxicology tests and photographs and concluded that Stacy Feldman was murdered.
That sparked the arrest of Robert Feldman earlier this year.
He is scheduled to be back in court March 22 for a preliminary hearing and a decision about whether he will be offered bail.
Contact 9NEWS reporter Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-871-1862.