A Concord pastor has been charged with first-degree murder one week after his wife was found dead.
Aaron Estes, 43, a pastor at First Foursquare Church, was arrested Jan. 28 after the body of his wife, Naomi, 44, was found in her car the day before.
He was in the Cabarrus County jail on $1 million bond.
According to family members and his lawyer, Estes suffers from late-stage non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer that can be terminal. Jim Gronquist, Estes' lawyer, said he is investigating whether and how Estes' cancer medications may have affected him.
To treat his disease, Estes was prescribed drugs to treat inflammation, depression and anxiety, Gronquist said.
Estes told police late Jan. 26 that his wife was missing. He said Naomi Estes left their home just south of Concord about 5 p.m., but she never showed up for her shift at Carolinas Medical Center.
The next day, a farmer checking on his animals found Naomi Estes' body lying in the back seat of her blue 2001 Chrysler Concorde.
Sheriff Brad Riley said Naomi Estes had been strangled and "sustained severe blunt trauma to her head," but he did not elaborate.
Late last Tuesday, Riley said Aaron Estes admitted killing his wife during an interview with investigators.
Naomi and Aaron Estes had worked together as co-pastors of First Foursquare's children's ministry, and her death sent shock waves through the community.