A Utah man accused of killing his wife five times in the back before admitting to the crime during a phone call with his son was found dead in his car Thursday evening after an apparent accident, the officials said. authorities.
The Weber County Sheriff’s Office said Scott William Russell, 53, who had been in distress since he was accused with the murder of his wife on Tuesday, was found Thursday at around 6 p.m. after MPs received a call about a car accident on Route 39. An officer came across a destroyed black Toyota Land Cruiser over 300 meters from the highway and noted that the driver had died of injuries consistent with a car accident.
Russell’s fatal accident came just two days after police issued an alert for “a dangerous armed person of interest” when his wife was found shot five times in the back in his Weber County home. Wednesday, the authorities accused the 53-year-old with eight felonies, including murder, discharging a firearm with injury, and possession or use of a controlled substance.
The 53-year-old is said to have fled the scene shortly after the alleged murder and was heading for Colorado before his fatal accident. The identity of Russell’s wife has not been disclosed.
“We would like to thank the public for assisting us in our efforts to locate Scott,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “Our condolences go out to all who have been touched by this tragic incident.”
According to court documents first obtained by the Salt Lake TribuneMPs responded at Russell’s home, about 45 minutes outside Salt Lake City, around 9 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a call from an anonymous person. This person told emergency dispatchers that he had received information from Russell’s son, who lives in a different state, claiming that his father shot his mother after “acting very erratically”.
When MPs entered the house, they found Russell’s wife in the master bedroom with five gunshot wounds “to the back of her body, including one at the base of her skull,” according to court documents. Several bullet holes were found in the wall and authorities recovered a handgun “embedded in the drywall” from another room in the house.
Several other guns, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were also found inside the house, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
In conversations with police, the 53-year-old son said his father’s “erratic” behavior on the phone included “repeated statements”.
“Scott has repeatedly told his son that he will come to his condition to give him a hug and other weird statements like how ‘Scott’s soul was at stake’,” according to court documents, which indicated that the son had described his father’s behavior “Very strange and out of character.”
Court documents indicate that when Russell’s son asked his father about his wife, Russell allegedly called her and his son could have heard the couple talking. At one point, Russell also admitted he was high.
Moments later, authorities say the son heard Russell “making noises and he said some of those sounds he believed to be the noise of” ammunition and weaponry “before a door does not slam. The son said that after a few moments of silence mixed with inconsistent statements, Russell picked up the phone again.
“Scott’s son was very concerned at this point as Scott’s erratic behavior increased and he continued to repeat inconsistent statements,” according to court documents, according to Deseret news. Scott again talked about coming to meet his son and told him he was going to do it because he was going to jail. Scott’s son questioned him again about the victim and Scott told him he shot the victim.
Authorities say Russell later retracted his comment, saying he was not serious before quickly repeating his murderous confession.
“Scott’s son told Scott he loved him and Scott replied that he loved his son too and then ended the phone call by saying to his son, ‘I’ll see you in hell !! ‘ the state of court documents.
Shortly after the incident, security footage from a nearby house showed Russell leaving his home. Authorities believe Russell’s car slipped off the freeway Thursday afternoon and rolled over an embankment several times. As investigators work with the medical examiner’s office to figure out exactly what happened, early evidence suggests the 53-year-old was speeding or weather conditions were a factor in the crash.
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