Casper PD: Murder-Suicide Suspected in Saturday Deaths
The deaths of a man and woman who were found dead inside a Casper home on Saturday are now being investigated as a potential murder-suicide, police said at a news conference Tuesday.
On Monday, Coroner James Whipps identified the deceased as 35-year-old Darren Rowe and 33-year-old Deidra Rowe. Their bodies were found by officers who responded to a residence in the 1600 Block of E. 27th St. at 6:33 p.m. Saturday to conduct a welfare check.
A concerned friend of the couple told police that one of the Rowes had not returned text messages or phone calls for several hours. Arriving officers tried to contact the Rowes several times, including tracking one of their phones.
"Seeing vehicles in the driveway and a purse in clear view through a window, officers acted on their growing concern for the individuals inside the residence and entered the home at 7 p.m.," police spokeswoman Rebekah Ladd told reporters.
The bodies of Deidra Rowe and Darren Rowe were found inside the master bedroom. The couple was last seen or heard from at roughly 8:40 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.
Ladd said there is no known history of violence for either of the deceased, according to police records. Investigators will attempt to determine whether there was any history of marital issues that may have been disclosed to family or friends.
Further details of the incident itself were not released Tuesday. Chief of Police Keith McPheeters said the investigation is ongoing and he does not have enough information to say which of the deceased was the aggressor in the fatal incident.
Deidra Rowe was the supervisor of the Casper Municipal Court. The court will not be active for the next few days, McPheeters said, and cases on the docket will be rescheduled.
"Anybody that knew Deidra knew that she was a kind, loving, helpful person," City Manager Carter Napier said at Tuesday's news conference.
"We are doing all that we can to be responsive to the needs of our employees," particularly those that worked closely with Deidra Rowe," Napier added.
It's the third such incident within the past year, Napier told reporters. He hopes it will serve as a "clarion call" to the rest of the community, hopefully inspiring the community to bring an end to tragedies of this nature.
"I hope all of you will join with us in putting out this call to action to our fellow citizens so indeed we can avoid these types of crimes, these type of losses," Napier said.
Napier and McPheeters took time during the news conference to highlight the issues of domestic violence and mental health conditions including suicidal thoughts. The officials encouraged anyone who has been the victim of violence or abuse, anyone who has abused a romantic partner and anyone who has had suicidal thoughts to seek professional services or call the police department for assistance.
Napier said the incident could "represent a clarity call to our community." Everyone in Casper has a role in preventing similar tragedies from happening in the future.
Added McPheeters: "This tragedy constitutes yet another example of the dangers associated with the occurrence of domestic violence and intimate partner violence in our community."
McPheeters said Wyoming consistently has one of the highest suicide rates in the United States. Calls involving suicidal people are regularly one of the issues Casper police deal with most frequently.