STOVER, Mo. – A double homicide has shocked a small lake community and a murderer may still be at large. The bodies of Wayne and Mae Wells were found at 11 a.m., Tuesday, by a neighbor who stopped by the home at the end of Ivy Bend Road near the 59-mile marker of Lake of the Ozarks.
Upon arrival, police made an emergency entry into the home, finding the two bodies in separate parts of the house.
Morgan County Sheriff Jim Petty said the murderer made a forced entry and shot both of the victims. Wayne Wells, a man in his 80s and in poor health, was found in or near his wheel chair.
"The south door looked like it had been kicked in... and the back door was open, possibly used to leave the scene," Petty said. The sheriff reported the house was in disarray, but it is unknown if burglary was the motive.
Police believe the murders occurred sometime between the hours of 5-9 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3. The lights in the house were still on when the bodies were discovered the next day, and the Wells' daughter reported that the couple typically went to bed at 9 p.m.
A neighbor reported hearing a dog bark at the Wells' house around 5:30 p.m.
A description of a vehicle in the area was also reported by a neighbor, but police are hesitant to release details.
At 6:15 the same evening, in what thus far cannot be confirmed as more than a strange coincidence, the Highway Patrol reported a Ford Explorer traveled off of Ivy Bend Road, struck a rock wall, a tree and overturned back onto the roadway. The driver, Ronald J. Blowers, 25, of Stover, was transported by ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia, Mo., for the treatment of moderate injuries.
Blowers was not listed as a current patient in the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, indicating he could have been treated and released last night or this morning. There is also a possibility law enforcement officials could have requested information about Blowers be sealed by the hospital.
As the investigation progressed in the Ivy Bend Road area Tuesday, Sheriff Petty was hesitant to call Blowers a person of interest, but said investigators wanted to interview him.
During a press conference just before sunset, Sheriff Petty said no arrests had been made and police had not yet determined a motive. As of the press conference, police had just gotten a warrant for the Missouri Highway Patrol investigators to search the home where the bodies of the victims remained. An autopsy will be performed in Springfield.
"We do not have a suspect at this time," Sheriff Petty said. "We are trying to interview anyone that was here last night. If anyone does have information please call us at the Morgan County Sheriff's Office."
Another press conference has been scheduled Tuesday evening. LakeExpo.com will report additional developments.