UPDATE: Community Grieves Homicide Victims, Theorizes Motive

3 years 9 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
CALLAWAY COUNTY –The Callaway County Jail has an aging security system as old as the jail itself, which was built... More >>
49 minutes ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Members of the University of Missouri Police Department and the Legion of Black Collegians met together Thursday night... More >>
56 minutes ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 4:14:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The 10th annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival kicked off Friday and festival coordinators have been working to... More >>
1 hour ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 3:43:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – Farmers, and farmers at heart, can be happy that a new farmers market is in the works for... More >>
2 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
BENTON (AP) — Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped from a southeast Missouri jail. The Southeast Missourian... More >>
4 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 12:43:43 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As a broadcast station, visual representation of stories is an important part of coverage at KOMU 8 News.... More >>
5 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 11:54:06 AM CDT in News
FARBER - Authorities shot a man armed with a shotgun in Farber late Thursday night, the Missouri State Highway Patrol... More >>
7 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 9:56:00 AM CDT in News
MEXICO - Four men were arrested after officers say they found drugs and guns Thursday afternoon. According to a... More >>
9 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 7:17:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Family members restrained the father of a missing Missouri woman when the man accused of setting... More >>
21 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 8:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - In honor of the Columbia Public School Foundation's (CPSF) 20th anniversary, it announced a $20,000 grant for Columbia... More >>
21 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival returns for its 10th year Friday to Columbia’s Stephens Lake... More >>
22 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An independent organization revealed its findings Thursday on the abilities of 49 judges throughout the state of... More >>
22 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:02:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Missouri Human Trafficking Task Force discussed its future and long term goals at its second to last... More >>
22 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:44:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MUPD released a full detailed report on a Tuesday night incident in which two black students reported being... More >>
22 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:16:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The annual Roots N Blues BBQ Festival will cause some traffic changes this weekend. The Columbia Police... More >>
1 day ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 5:05:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Michael Kreps was sentenced to life in the Missouri Department of Corrections Thursday. Kreps plead guilty... More >>
1 day ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 3:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Lincoln University faculty unanimously passed a vote for no confidence against the provost Wednesday morning, a... More >>
1 day ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 3:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new study put out by WalletHub ranks Missouri as one of the best states for teachers, but... More >>
1 day ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:59:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
5pm 68°
6pm 67°
7pm 65°
8pm 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

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

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
This Is Us
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld