"I just dropped all my books and just ... started driving to the airport, and I was just screaming. Just screaming, 'He killed her.' That was my first instinct. He killed her," Alexis said.
Though it was a shocking accusation, Alexis MacNeill had reasons to believe her father might have had a hand in her mother's death. Just two days earlier, Alexis said her mother made a warning that sounded ominous to her as she washed her hair.
"She started to cry. [My mother] said, 'If anything happens to me, make sure it wasn't your dad,'" Alexis said. "I kind of got upset. I said, 'Mom, What do you mean?'… And she just said, 'You know, make sure if anything happens to me, it wasn't your dad.'"
Alexis and her sister, Rachel, who had also been trying to call home and finally reached her father, rushed home. When the two girls were together that afternoon, Alexis told her sister her belief that their father might have been responsible for their mother's death. Rachel was in disbelief until Alexis recounted what their mother had told her two days earlier.
Why would a seemingly healthy 50-year-old woman collapse in her bathroom a week after facial surgery?
It turned out that the surgery Michele MacNeill had was one she neither asked for nor wanted, according to her daughters. She did it, they said, because her husband wanted her to.
A few months before, in early 2007, after Michele MacNeill had turned 50, Alexis and Rachel said their father appeared to be in the midst of a midlife crisis.
"He'd go to the tanning salons. He'd start exercising just all the time -- just in the middle of a conversation, jumping and doing pushups, things like that," said Rachel, now 31.
The daughters also said their mother suspected their father might be having an affair, saying he would disappear for long stretches. Alexis said her mother asked her to do some late-night investigating into her father's activities.
"While he was sleeping, I logged on to his phone and printed out all of his phone records, and we found this number that he'd been calling a lot," Alexis said.
An online search of the number revealed the name of the person MacNeill had been calling day and night: Gypsy Willis.
"We thought it was maybe some stripper or something," Alexis recalled. "Who's named Gypsy?'"
Michele MacNeill confronted her husband about the phone calls. According to Alexis, MacNeill told his wife that Gypsy was a woman he'd worked with, and that she'd be renting a property they leased.
"My mom said, 'Well, why have you called her? It's three o'clock in the morning, all these strange hours,'" Alexis recounted.
MacNeill said Gypsy worked the night shift, but according to Alexis, her mom doubted her husband's tale and feared he was cheating. However, Michele did not press the matter further. But Alexis said that the next day, Martin came to Michele with an odd request: He wanted her to get a face-lift.
"My mom had never talked about that before or anything," Alexis said. "She'd never been into plastic surgery."
It took some convincing, but according to Alexis, Michele "saw my dad … tanning, getting all in shape. And so I think my mom was just a little concerned too. 'Oh, maybe I should do a couple things. You know maybe that will help.'"