UPDATE: Community Grieves Homicide Victims, Theorizes Motive

6 years 3 months 1 week ago Wednesday, December 05 2012 Dec 5, 2012 Wednesday, December 05, 2012 9:38:00 PM CST December 05, 2012 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
JEFFERSON CITY - Environmental activists plan to make their voices heard at a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) public... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:26:00 AM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Brian Treece and Chris Kelly answered public questions regarding a variety of issues facing the Columbia community. When... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:23:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday her government is immediately banning assault rifles,... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 9:56:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission granted approval Wednesday to the Grain Belt Express, an electric transmission line... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 7:15:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Missouri state troopers had to carefully watch a closure of Highway 94 near Portland earlier this week... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 7:01:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s mayoral race has moved to television as the municipal election on April 2 moves closer. Mayor... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - Everything is free in the Fulton store From His House to Your House. The operation is 100... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:57:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
ASHLAND - A man was arrested after a car and foot chase on Tuesday. Ashland police officers said they... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:30:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is investigating a death on East Logan Street, according to police. Police received... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:26:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - Businesses in Moberly say they'll feel the effect of a new zoning measure which would require future medical... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:13:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired call on Hanover Boulevard Wednesday morning. Police said the... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 1:28:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - Prosecutors filed murder and child endangerment charges against a Maries County mother three days after her daughter... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 12:40:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The man accused in a 2002 rape that resurfaced after a DNA discovery years later has been found... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:43:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
AUXVASSE - Police are asking for the public's help finding 49-year-old Jeffrey Ennis, who has been accused of domestic assault.... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:05:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With elections in Columbia just weeks away, voters will have the chance to meet candidates and discuss other... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 3:30:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
OMAHA - Amtrak service between Kansas City and St. Louis has been temporarily suspended due to increase freight train traffic... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 9:59:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - Prosecutors have charged Tracy Ellis with second-degree murder and child endangerment after a Sunday night house fire... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:34:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - When Madison Lawson shops at a retail store, she tends to leave empty-handed. “I want to dress... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
7am 36°
8am 36°
9am 37°
10am 39°