UPDATE: Community Grieves Homicide Victims, Theorizes Motive

4 years 4 months 2 weeks ago December 05, 2012 Dec 5, 2012 Wednesday, December 05 2012 Wednesday, December 05, 2012 9:38:00 PM CST in News
By: Meghann Mollerus
loading

MORGAN COUNTY - Community members speculate the motive for Monday night's double homicide of an elderly couple may have been prescription drugs.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Department would not confirm this information, but residents told KOMU 8 on Wednesday afternoon that 82-year-old Wayne Louis Wells was wheelchair bound and has been on prescription drugs since he was paralyzed in an automobile accident about two years ago.  The community members said Wells and his wife, 71-year-old Mable Irene Wells, were not wealthy and did not own technology.  They thereby suggested there was something else sought by the alleged intruder, whom police suspect broke into the Wells's home via the back door between 5 and 9 p.m. Monday evening and killed them.

Friends of Mable Wells disclosed to KOMU 8 that the woman's daughter believes the crime happened before 7 p.m. She said at that time each night, the couple always shared a popcorn snack--evidence that was not, according to the friends, present at the crime scene.  Authorities did not confirm this detail.

Morgan County Fire Department acting chief Wayne Marshall did disclose to KOMU 8 that there was an automobile accident Monday evening that occurred not too far up the road from the crime scene.  It happened around 7 p.m., according to Marsall.

"On Monday night, we had a young man overturn his car.  And he was life flighted out.  He also had a girlfriend...who was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  He's 24, and she's 35," Marshall said.

Marshall and community members indicated arrests were made following the crash, but neither Marshall nor the sheriff's department said whether there was a connection between the car crash and the murders or whether the individuals involved are being considered suspects.

As community members anxiously wait new information, they said they are nervous and have been locking their doors--something they said they never felt they had to do in the characteristically safe community. 

One resident told KOMU 8, "Everybody's talking about how if they don't have a gun, they need to get one."

Residents described the Wellses as kind and charitable.  Mable Wells's longtime friend and Great Sails Nail Salon owner Judy Spellmeyer described her as a compassionate woman who was involved in the town's Booster Club, which hosted local drives and bake sales to raise money for non-profits.  Spellmeyer said Mable Wells worked online for Jim Realty, located down the road from where the couple lived.  Of Mable Wells's relationship with her grandchildren, Spellmeyer said, "She just loved the time with them." 

Spellmeyer said both Mable and Wayne Wells have adult children from previous marriages.

Resident Dru Moses, longtime friend of Mable Wells, said the woman made sure her husband got the best care and rehabilitation after his life-altering accident.  She described the grisly crime as "shocking" to the community.

 Marshall said, "[Mable and Wayne Wells] were wonderful people and will be missed in the community.  I've had a lot of people tell me today it could happen to anyone, probably, but why those people?  They were so nice to everyone."

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COOPER COUNTY - Two people died during a plane crash on Highway 98 near Boonville around 1:40 p.m Monday. ... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
ARGYLE - For years, the Rock Island rail line carried trains across Missouri, straight through towns like Eldon, Freeburg and... More >>
2 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A teenager who was shot by a Kansas City store clerk who thought the boy was... More >>
2 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
BOONVILLE- What began as a joke between two friends inspired an event that raised money and awareness for a... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving a couple in their 80s. ... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a 51-year-old St. Louis-area woman died while she was sleeping when she was struck... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
EUREKA, Mo. (AP) — A Mexican wolf born this month at a wildlife center in suburban St. Louis is offering... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Community Services Department recently released its 2016 Annual Report and Program Directory, which highlights where... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 1:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan for 2018 significantly reduces funding for a range of executive departments, from... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Two men are on the run after assaulting a man in his home and stealing cash and other... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:23:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Boone County and Jefferson City discussed an agreement to respond as backup for each other's 911 call... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:07:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new report shows that only about one in every 10 Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables. Just... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT in Weekly Wellness
COLUMBIA - Police are still looking for a suspect they said robbed a convenience store in west Columbia early Monday... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:14:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:06:15 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a man has been killed and a woman wounded in a shooting at convenience... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 9:04:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a vehicle has struck and killed an 8-year-old boy in St. Louis. The... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 8:55:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 23-year-old man has been fatally shot in Kansas City. The Kansas... More >>
10 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:53:00 AM CDT in News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the deaths of an 83-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman in St. Louis... More >>
10 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:50:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
7pm 72°
8pm 68°
9pm 65°
10pm 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Taken
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld