UPDATE: Community Grieves Homicide Victims, Theorizes Motive

3 years 7 months 3 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

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
BRIDGETON (AP) — Authorities said four family members have been found shot to death in a suburban St. Louis home.... More >>
2 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 5:22:42 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Two people have been charged in connection with a marijuana grow operation in south-central Missouri. ... More >>
2 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 4:50:26 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Animal Behavior Society held an event for families to come and learn about animal research. The... More >>
3 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 4:19:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man convicted of charges stemming from a cyberattack that disabled the St. Louis County police... More >>
6 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 1:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - With shootings and gun control in the news, one concealed carry class taught some mid-Missourians about gun safety.... More >>
6 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 12:56:00 PM CDT in News
EMINENCE (AP) — A 440-acre swath of southern Missouri that once included an outdoor music venue is the newest state... More >>
7 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 11:43:06 AM CDT in News
EUGENE - One person is in custody following a shooting in Eugene Friday afternoon. The individual in custody is... More >>
8 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 11:22:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Bonner Springs teens addressed the Democratic National Convention, recalling how they were fired after... More >>
8 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:41:16 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department responded to a shooting Friday night in the area of Pennant Street and Worley... More >>
10 hours ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 8:33:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A crowd of about 50 people converged on a Kansas City convenience store, with some... More >>
23 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:43:42 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The former owner of two Missouri daycare businesses has been sentenced to two years in... More >>
23 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:34:44 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The mother of a 24-year-old man fatally shot by Kansas City police in 2013 has... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:27:23 PM CDT in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — Authorities are increasing security at a festival that draws tens of thousands of Vietnamese Catholics to southwest... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:22:03 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said his experience in office and past success in elections... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Getting to the polls can be difficult on Election Day, but COMO Connect will help Columbia residents. The... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:05:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - SERVE, Inc handed out free school supplies to Callaway County students on Saturday. The first 800 people... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 3:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced Friday he will take over for Interim Athletic Director Wren... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 2:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Cyclists were out on Friday enjoying new bike lanes along the shoulder of Forum Boulevard. The new lanes... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 2:14:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
8pm 78°
9pm 74°
10pm 72°
11pm 71°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:00p
Dateline NBC
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld