Lawsuit alleges husband drowned wife in Gulf to collect $1 million life insurance policy

Posted at 8:56 PM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-02 06:43:17-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A newly-filed civil lawsuit alleges that a husband drowned his wife two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico to collect a $1 million life insurance policy.

The mystery of what happened in the waters off John's Pass on Nov. 12, 2016, is only known by one person — William Gamba. Gamba was the last person to see his wife alive that day during a snorkeling and diving outing.

Deputies say that Blaise Gamba and her husband William were about five miles off the coast of Madeira Beach, Florida, when William made a distress call to a passing boater, who stopped and radioed for help. Both had to be transported to the hospital for injuries, where Blaise died the next morning. 

Deputies initially wrote in an incident report, that they believed the injuries were related to a diving accident. Diving equipment was located on William’s boat and both William and Blaise were wearing wet-suits at the time of the incident.

William's criminal defense attorney, Lucas Fleming, says Blaise's death was a tragic accident. However, the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Blaise's mom, Nancy Huhta, calls it premeditated murder.

"It says that he held her underwater that he drowned her that he attacked her," Fleming said. "That is absolutely not true. He did not do that. It just doesn’t make any sense for them to say that he had any kind of premeditated state of mind when this occurred."

The lawsuit states that Blaise was a respected lawyer in Tampa Bay and that her life insurance policy was $1 million.

According to the lawsuit, Blaise wrote in her diary that she suspected her husband was having multiple affairs. After her death, the suit says William didn't cooperate with law enforcement — refusing the day after she died to unlock both their iPhones and iPads for inspection.

"He’s given two interviews to law enforcement complied with their requests he gave for his iPad the security code he could not do it with his iPhone because there is HIPAA related information on there he could not disclose," Fleming stated.

When law enforcement reached the boat to help revive Blaise, they say her husband had his own medical emergency and lost consciousness for an unknown reason. Fleming says William had a seizure, and that he was hospitalized for three days. The lawsuit alleges it was all an act to avoid investigators.

The official cause of death was ruled as a drowning — a physician saying her lungs were "full of water."

Following his wife's death, William collected a $1 million life insurance policy.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says that the case remains an open and active investigation. The attorney that filed the lawsuit says that as recently as last week the FBI was involved, hoping to find out what happened on that boat.

William has not been charged in his wife's death.