Erica Wiese wants to believe Miles Dabord's story about the disappearance of his brother, former basketball star Bison Dele, and two others off Tahiti.
But after nearly a month spent agonizing over Dabord's version of events, and learning more about the allegations he was facing when he apparently committed suicide, Wiese has come to interpret her former boyfriend's actions as those of someone "acting in survival mode."
In her first extended interview since reporting Dabord's account to the FBI on Sept. 10, Wiese, 31, said she wants to clarify her involvement with Dabord and let people know "that I have told everything I know about this; I'm an open book."
"Did he say to himself, 'I've got witnesses, now I have to take care of them?' Probably," Weiss said. "Why the gold? I think he was going to do what he could to escape. . . . Once he gave up on that, he overdosed."
Law enforcement officials believe Dabord killed his brother, along with Dele's girlfriend, Serena Kaplan, and boat captain Bertrand Saldo, while at sea on July 7. The next day, Dabord met Wiese on the island of Moorea, near Tahiti, and he was with her until she returned home on July 15.
Wiese said this was Dabord's account of what happened on the boat: He and Dele were fighting -- a result of a combination of past frictions -- when Karlan was fatally injured while trying to intercede. Saldo was killed by Dele because the captain wanted to report Karlan's death to authorities. The fight between the brothers continued after Saldo was killed, leading Dabord to shoot and kill Dele in self-defense. Dabord said he then weighted the three bodies and dumped them overboard.
"I just listened," Wiese said, "in shock."
Dabord, also known as Kevin Williams (his brother's given name was Brian Williams), died at a hospital in Chula Vista, Calif., last week after being taken off a respirator. He was found, comatose, in Mexico and was transported to the United States on Sept. 15. His mother, Patricia Phillips, said Dabord died as the result of an insulin overdose combined with his not taking asthma medication.
While the FBI and authorities in French Polynesia wanted to question him about the disappearances on his brother's boat, Dabord was also being hunted by Phoenix police for allegedly trying to buy $152,000 in gold using his brother's identification as his own on Sept 5.