Newlywed Dalia Dippolito appeared inconsolable when she arrived at her Florida home Wednesday morning and police told her that her husband had been murdered. But local authorities said her mournful sobs were just an act.
Boynton Beach, Fla., police allege Dippolito's tears and devastated demeanor were part of a carefully orchestrated performance, and that she actually hired a hit man to murder her husband of six months.
In truth, Dippolito's husband, Michael Dippolito, wasn't dead; he was hidden away as investigators showed his wife a fake crime scene before arresting her for solicitation to commit first degree murder.
Authorities set up a sting operation on Dalia Dippolito after a tipster called last month and said she was trying to have her 38-year-old husband killed.
The 26-year-old Dippolito has denied putting a hit on her spouse.
"I didn't do anything, and I didn't plot anything," said Dippolito. She is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail and is expected to be arraigned today, according to a jail official.
But police said they have recordings of Dippolito speaking to the supposed hitman, who actually was an undercover officer, after secretly taping all her meetings with the man.
The investigation began on July 31 when a confidential informant notified police that the newlywed wife may be trying to kill her husband.
"We then moved forward to introduce her to who she believed to be a hit man. That hitman was our undercover officer," said police Sgt. Frank Ranzie.
According to the affidavit, Dippolito provided the police informant with pictures of her husband, his daily schedule and $1,200 for the purchase of a gun to be used in the crime. She then asked if it was a "solid deal" and said she didn't want any excuses for why the crime wouldn't happen. Officials secretly recorded the exchange.
On Monday, Dippolito met with the would-be hitman at a gas station where she allegedly agreed to pay $3,000 after the job was completed and even offered to get her hair done to create an alibi.
When asked if she was sure she wanted her husband killed, the affidavit said Dippolito laughed before saying, "I will be very happy."
"She was very cool and confident," Ranzie said. "She said, 'When I set my mind to something I do it, and I am 5,000 percent sure I want this done.'"
Michael Dippolito was surprised Wednesday morning when police knocked at his door to tell him some stunning news.
"They said, 'Come with me immediately. Your wife's trying to have you killed,'" he said.
The hitman was allegedly scheduled to murder Michael Dippolito Wednesday, so police set up a fake crime scene and kept him hidden. Authorities called his wife while she was at the gym and told her to come home immediately.
When she arrived, she received the tragic news that her husband was dead. Her emotional response to the revelation secretly amused some officers.
"It was hard to keep a straight face," Ranzie said. "Amid all that tremors and shaking of the body, there weren't any real tears coming out of her eyes."
Officers took Dippolito to the police station and put her face-to-face with the supposed hitman. Then her husband appeared.
Even with all the developments, Michael Dippolito said he didn't know why his young bride would want to kill him, but acknowledged strange things started happening after the pair married.
"It took a little while to resonate," he said. "There's a lot of funny business going on with her for a long time -- unexplained money and things and it just makes a lot of sense."
Michael Dippolito said cash he gave Dalia Dippolito for bills would go missing, and he got notes left on his truck demanding money.
For Michael Dippolito, the experience and allegations are still surreal.
"It's like a movie," he said.