Naturopath accused of causing woman’s death shot dead
Omer Ahmetovic, centre, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, was arrested this week for allegedly shooting dead naturopath Dr Juan S Gonzalez, inset, whom he blamed for causing his wife’s death.
According to this report, Ahmetovic of Bowling Green has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge and was being held in the local jail on Friday. The citation for his arrest on Wednesday did not describe a motive. But a lawsuit filed in January by Ahmetovic and his wife, Fikreta Ibrisevic, lays out a series of grievances against Gonzalez.
The lawsuit says the Bosnian refugee couple met Gonzalez in early 2016, after Ibrisevic was diagnosed with a form of soft-tissue cancer. The couple looked into natural therapies while waiting to be scheduled for traditional cancer treatments.
They said Gonzalez told them that:
Chemotherapy is for losers.
He guaranteed he could cure her within three months.
Instead, despite spending $7,000 on herbal treatments and visits with Gonzalez, who gave her dietary instructions and massages and soaked her feet, she developed even more tumours, according to the lawsuit, which sought compensatory and punitive damages.
As the couple saw Gonzalez from January through May last year, what began as one tumour turned into seven. The original tumour grew so large it could be seen outside her body, while her eyes turned yellow and her legs became swollen.
The suit said the couple consulted other experts who said Gonzalez had administered so many herbs that Ibrisevic had a toxic reaction. She belatedly underwent chemotherapy, but it couldn’t save her.
Gonzalez “systematically preyed upon the plight of the plaintiffs and told Fikreta and Omer a series of misrepresentations and concealments,” the lawsuit said. As Bosnian refugees, they were “more vulnerable to being misled,” the suit said.
Gonzalez’ attorney filed a motion in early February asking that the lawsuit be dismissed. Weeks later, Ibrisevic died, leaving behind her husband and their two children.
Days after that, Ahmetovic, 35, went to Gonzalez’s clinic and shot him, Bowling Green police said.
The Natural Health Center for Integrative Medicine says on its website that Gonzalez was a member of The Pastoral Medical Association and the American Naturopathic Medical Association and that:
We have lost to a senseless crime, a loving soul.
Gonzalez, 59, was remembered for his “sincere passion for helping people,” chiropractor Michael Elkins said, adding that his friend:
Demonstrated selflessness in his endeavor to lead people to a healthier lifestyle.