Sunday, January 29, 2012

Johnstown, OH: Police: Lab results will complete investigation of murder-suicide

Neighbors and the family of Wallace and Clover Walls apparently weren’t fully aware of the difficulties they were experiencing prior to the Jan. 20 murder-suicide of the couple, according to Police Chief Don Corbin.

Johnstown police said 74-year-old Wallace Walls shot and killed his wife, 70, before killing himself on Jan. 20.

Corbin said officers arrived at the Walls’ home on East Maple Avenue shortly after 1 p.m. that day and found Wallace and Clover dead in the mudroom next to the kitchen.

He said officers recovered a handgun and a suicide note written by Wallace at the scene.

Chief Corbin said Clover Walls had been in a nursing home and was recently released under the care of her husband.

“It’s my understanding that Mrs. Walls, approximately two months ago, had a stroke and was in a nursing home and was released last Tuesday (Jan. 16) to come home because É of insurance purposes,” said. “So Mr. Walls had total care for Mrs. Walls from that time on.”

The Wallses lived alone, but their son lived next door, Corbin said. He said neighbors did not hear any gunshots.

“If you know there are problems, sometimes you can get people help,” he said, “but no one had any idea that this type of problem would have occurred — at least those we talked with, including the family.”

Corbin said the investigation is not yet complete, as police are still waiting on autopsy and toxicology reports.

“It’s always good to know in a toxicology report the frame of mind of people that’s involved, and outside of that the forensic part É the part of the firearm and different things the firearm tells us about the shots,” Corbin said.

He said it could take four to six weeks before toxicology reports come back. Police will then complete a report for the prosecutor’s office.

This is not unusual, Corbin said, as the prosecutor’s office makes sure the investigation is correct and that no charges need to be filed.

This is Johnstown’s first homicide in five years, Corbin said

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