We’ve covered the crazy story of Jose Lantigua on our show before, but today you’re about to hear never-before-revealed details that will make you rethink everything you’ve seen.
A millionaire CEO living large is suddenly dead. But did wealthy and mysterious Jose Lantigua die a natural death, or was this something more ominous?
Everyone in Jacksonville, Florida knew Jose Lantigua’s face, the owner of a chain of discount furniture stores. His commercials made him something of a local celebrity.
Selling dining room tables and bedroom sets made Lantigua very rich. He boasted a life insurance policy worth almost $6 million.
Crime Watch Daily sits down with Jose Lantigua’s wife Daphne Simpson in an exclusive interview about the man she thought was her knight in shining armor.
Daphne Simpson is a deeply religious woman. Her first husband was a pastor. And like many singles, Daphne logged on for love, hoping to meet a nice guy through a Christian dating site. It wasn’t long before a match was made in heaven with the successful Cuban immigrant turned furniture king.
“When I told the girls at work that I had gone out with this particular gentleman, and they were like ‘Oh my gosh, he’s so awsome!” said Daphne. “He’s a great person here in the community, he’s contributed in so many ways charities and everything.”
Daphne, originally from Texas, moved to Jacksonville. When she went back to the Lone Star State to visit her kids, they could tell she was smitten with her new Romeo. After four months of dating, Daphne’s Cuban Casanova popped the question. It was in his usual grand style, at a fancy restaurant, with long-stemmed red roses and champagne on ice waiting tableside.
Jose was divorced, his children grown adults. Daphne says he rolled out the red carpet for her own adult children, even inviting them to move into his mini-mansion on exclusive Fleming Island, an upscale coastal community about 15 miles from Jacksonville.
“He brought all of us into his fold. Immediately my sisters, me, he was like ‘I want all you guys to move here, to Florida,'” said Daphne’s son Andre Holliday.
Jose even dazzled Daphne and her kids with intriguing stories about his past as a high-ranking military officer. But he embelished those tales, saying he worked with the CIA carrying out top-secret missions in South America.
Everyone’s future looked bright, especially when Lantigua made Circle K Furniture a family business, giving the kids jobs. And the wedding was amazing too, with Daphne and Jose surrounded by their eight kids in an intimate beachside affair.
The pair honeymooned in North Carolina, where they quickly snapped up a rustic mountain retreat. They renovated, and Jose built a “panic room” inside the property, a secret lair, completely concealed to the naked eye.
Daphne was living a dream come true: The newly blended family, enjoyed vacations, celebrated holidays together and welcomed new grandchildren into the world.
But the dream of a marriage was about to become a nightmare. Daphne says just a few months later Jose drops a shocker, telling her he’s dying from a rare condition called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), better known as “Mad Cow Disease.”
“We were in bed and he has me in his arms and he says ‘I have something i have to tell you, I have CJD,’ and I didn’t even know what CJD was, and he explained that it was a brain disease and that there was no cure for it, nothing could be done, and that he had maybe six months to live, and I remember I started bawling because we had only been married for a short time now, I think he’s dying and I’m only going to have six more months with him.”
Daphne says Jose told her he contracted the disease while he was in the military and had to eat monkey brains while on assignment in the jungle.
“He said that one of the missions that they had gone on he had to interact with the locals, and he had been the guest of honor and therefore you had to eat what’s given to you, and he he had eaten raw monkey brain at that time,” said Daphne.
“[The doctor said] he had CDJ and he would answer any questions that I had,” said Daphne. “We went to an MRI clinic and he had an MRI done on his brain. “I did look at it, but I don’t know, it had a bunch of white spots everywhere, so I assumed that’s just part of the disease.”