Breaking: Vehicle of Huntsville homicide suspect found with ‘unresponsive person’ inside

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

HUNTSVILLE, Utah, Nov. 12, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Weber County sheriff officials said Thursday night the vehicle belonging to an “armed and dangerous” suspect on the run after a domestic homicide Tuesday night has been found with an unresponsive person inside.

Weber County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Cortney Ryan told Gephardt Daily that an individual contacted dispatch at approximately 5:50 p.m. to report a black SUV was found by the water, mangled and covered in snow. The caller also advised there was a person in the driver’s seat who was not moving or responding.

An arrest warrant was filed for the suspect, Scott William Russell Wednesday. The homicide victim was Russell’s wife.

Officials said Wednesday they had reason to believe Russell, 53, may have been headed toward Colorado in a black 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser with black rims, bearing Utah registration plate number G143AP. It appears family members believed that was where he may have been going.

Scott William Russell is being sought by officers of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office in connection with a homicide in the Huntsville area. Images: WCSO, Google Maps

A probable cause statement from the 2nd District Court of Weber County has now been issued in the case. Russell is 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 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 dispatch. Attempts were made to locate Scott in the area but were unsuccessful. Several firearms were located at the crime scene along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia, the statement said.

“Investigators have evidence to believe that Scott Russell killed his wife, and that he fled the residence,” the statement said. “At this time Scott Russell’s whereabouts are unknown. He is presumed armed and dangerous.”

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