MCLOUD, Okla. (KTUL) — Hours after Amber Hilberling's husband fell from a 25th-floor window at their high-rise apartments back in 2011, Hilberling found herself sitting in a detective interview room at the Tulsa Police Department.
"Please, I just want to go back and not push him. Just catch him... something," Hilberling can be heard saying to her grandmother on a recording from the room.
Detectives would eventually try to question her about what happened, but while she waited she confided in her grandmother.
"I'm not looking forward to all the nights I'm going to spend crying," Hilberling said to her grandmother.
A jury would say Hilberling deliberately pushed her husband from that window, something she denied until the end.
"For the rest of my life, everyone is going to think I'm a murderer," Hilberling said during the interview.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections confirmed Hilberling died Monday night inside the facility where she was supposed to spend the next two decades of her life.
Death by hanging, said the medical examiner. A suicide.
The story told in the 2011 recordings certainly lends itself to that idea.
"I want to be the one that's dead. I want to be dead," said Hilberling in the recording.
Her family said don't let the old recordings fool you. Speaking with Tulsa's Channel 8 over the phone Monday night, they said Hilberling had much to live for.
They said she was getting college credit while in prison and talked with her son almost daily.
They also told us she was excited by an offer we recently extended to Amber to tell her story in an exclusive interview here on Channel 8.
We may never know exactly what went on in that high rise apartment.
Add to that, another mystery. What was going on in her mind the day her life ended?
But the story is over. The final page turned. And it's the families of both who lose in the end.
In a statement, the family of Joshua Hilberling said Amber's death is tragic.
"Hearing about Amber's tragic death brought many emotions to our memories. Losing a child, regardless of their age, is something that cannot be expressed in words. Grieving is an individual experience. It can surface as anger, fear, sadness, and pain. Amber's senseless death has impacted many lives.
Our sincere condolences go out to the Fields family, and everyone else who loved Amber. Our prayers go out to all who have been hurt, especially the innocent child."