Officers Arrest Lovell Murder Suspect in Mills
Police say the man suspected of killing a woman in Lovell on Thursday has been arrested in Mills.
Donald Joe Crouse, 48, faces first-degree murder charges, according to a press release from Lovell Police Chief Dan Laffin.
Crouse is suspected of killing 49-year-old Carol Jean Barnes, of Cowley, in Lovell on Thursday. Police say Crouse and Barnes had previously been involved in a relationship.
Laffin says Barnes was murdered in the late afternoon or early evening hours of Thursday at an apartment in the 400 block of West 7th Street in Lovell.
Officers were dispatched to the apartment to conduct a welfare check following a call to police by a family member.
Upon arrival, officers identified a possible crime scene and went into the apartment to check on the occupant. Officers found Barnes dead.
Laffin says Crouse was immediately known to be the suspect, although he did not specify what information led investigators to that conclusion.
Lovell police, the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation worked together to search for Crouse, who was found in Mills and arrested without incident.
Authorities, including the Mills Police Department and the Natrona County Sheriff's Office, continue to investigate. Laffin credits the combined efforts of the law enforcement agencies involved with the speedy arrest.
"Our thoughts, prayers and sympathy are extended to the victim's family and loved ones," Laffin's statement concludes.