Body of Huntsville homicide suspect found in crashed vehicle near Pineview Reservoir

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

HUNTSVILLE, Utah, Nov. 12, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The body of a Huntsville homicide suspect has been found dead inside a crashed SUV near Pineview Reservoir.

Lt. Cortney Ryan of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office told Gephardt Daily the vehicle was spotted by a passerby about 5:50 p.m. Thursday just off U.S. Highway 39 near mile post 15.

“When deputies got here they confirmed that there was an accident and there was a deceased male in the vehicle,” Ryan said. “The plates matched up with it and we were able to confirm the deceased male inside the vehicle was Scott Russell, the suspect that was wanted in the homicide case.”

Ryan said at this point it appears Russell died from injuries sustained in the accident.

An arrest warrant had been filed for Russell on Wednesday a few hours after he shot and killed his wife in their Huntsville home.

It appears the accident happened the night of the incident, Ryan said.

“With the snowstorm we had that evening, it was consistent with the time frame, and the snow being on the vehicle,” Ryan added. “The vehicle is in pretty rough shape, what you would expect from traveling 300 yards off the road.”

Scott William Russell and the vehicle he was traveling in. Photo: WCSO

Investigators said Wednesday they had reason to believe Russell, 53, may have been headed toward Colorado.

A probable cause statement from the 2nd District Court of Weber County had been issued in the case. Russell was facing charges of:

  • Murder, a first-degree felony
  • Four counts of felony discharge of a firearm with injury, a second-degree felony
  • Purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony
  • Possession or use of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

The probable cause statement said that at 9:04 p.m. Tuesday, deputies were dispatched to a report of a gunshot wound in Meadowlark Lane in the Upper Valley of Weber County.

Deputies were advised that a complainant had called dispatch and reported that a man, identified as Russell, had shot his wife. The complainant was notified of this information from Russell’s son who lives out of state, the statement said.

“Deputies responded to the residence and took control of the scene as it was unknown if Scott was at the residence,” the statement said. “Entry was eventually made into the home and Scott’s wife was located deceased on the floor of the master bathroom of the residence.”

Officials then made contact with Russell’s son, who had notified the complainant.

“Scott’s son advised that he had received a phone call from Scott just prior to his notification to the complainant,” the statement said. “Scott’s son reported that Scott was acting very erratic on the phone call and kept repeating statements. Scott repeatedly told his son that he was going to come to his state to give him a hug and other strange statements like how Scott’s ‘soul was on the line.’ Scott’s son found his behavior very strange and out of character.”

Russell’s son was concerned about his mother and asked the suspect about her, the statement said.

“Scott called out to the victim and his son heard the victim speaking with Scott over the phone,” the statement said. “Scott asked the victim if he (Scott) was high and the victim told Scott that he was high.”

Russell’s son then reported hearing his father making noises, and he stated that some of these sounds he believed to be the sound of ammunition and a gun “cocking,” the statement said.

“Scott’s son advised that there was some silence for some time mixed with some commotion,” the statement said. “A sound was heard that was described as a door slamming and after some more silence Scott then came back to the phone. Scott’s son was very concerned at this point as Scott’s erratic behavior increased and he continued to repeat incoherent statements.”

Russell again spoke about coming to meet his son and told him that he was going to do so because he, the suspect, would be going to prison, the statement said.

“Scott’s son asked him about the victim again and Scott told him that he (Scott) shot the victim,” the statement said. “Scott was asked if he was being serious and he told him no, but then also told him that he was serious. Scott continued his erratic behavior and his son became increasingly worried about the victim, Scott, and his own safety. Scott’s son told Scott that he loved him and Scott replied that he loved his son too and then ended the phone call by telling his son ‘I’ll see you in hell.'”

Russell’s phone then stopped receiving any signal and his son could not contact him anymore.

“During the crime scene investigation the victim was found to have five separate gunshot wounds in the back of her body; including one at the base of her skull,” the statement said. “Eight 9 mm casings were located around the victim’s body with bullet holes also being located in the wall of the bathroom. A firearm was not located near the victim; however, a 9 mm handgun was located embedded into the drywall of another bathroom down the hall from the master bedroom.”

Security camera footage from neighboring residences showed Russell leaving his residence in his personal vehicle shortly before the call was made to Weber County dispatchers.

Investigators say several firearms were located at the crime scene along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia.


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