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Details released in domestic homicide investigation

File; Police vehicles parked outside a private residence on East 27th Street in Casper. February 16, 2020. (Oil City Staff)

CASPER, Wyo. —  Court documents released by Natrona County Circuit court have shed light on a police investigation into what the Casper Police Department has described as a “possible domestic homicide.”

The bodies of 35-year-old Darren Rowe and 33-year-old Deidra Rowe were discovered by Casper Police Officers, following a call for a welfare check in mid-February. At the time, several statements were made by Law Enforcement and City officials, but details of the investigation were not immediately released.

At the time, city officials identified Deidra Rowe as having been an employee of the City of Casper Municipal Court. Following her death the Municipal Court closed for a brief period.

Police said that the incident was being investigated as a “potential domestic homicide.”

An affidavit from the Casper Police Department, requesting a search warrant for the East 27th Street residence, where the incident took place, describes suspicions that police have in the case, and outlines some of the evidence.

According to the affidavit detectives “observed there to be no signs of a struggle or altercation in the residence and it appeared Darren shot Deidra with the handgun, shot all the pets, […] then took his own life.”

Police say that several deceased pets were located in the master bedroom of the residence. All of the pets were described as suffering from gunshots.

Police say that persons who had expressed concern for the wellbeing of Deidra Rowe and Darren Rowe; described Darren Rowe as having recently had an instance of attempted self-harm. Both Deidra Rowe and Darren Rowe were described as being “depressed recently.”

While details were not initially released, the possibility of suicidal ideations and domestic violence were heavily addressed at a press conference following the incident. During the press conference, Casper Police Department Chief Keith McPheeters said that preliminary thoughts by investigators were that the deaths were representative of dangers associated with domestic violence and intimate partner violence. 

The chief said that domestic and intimate partner violence, as well as suicide and self harm, are a concern for the Casper area public’s health and safety.

“Wyoming routinely has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation,” McPheeters said. “We believe by talking about this issue, instead of stigmatizing it, [it] may help us, as a community, to find a solution to this all too frequent occurrence.”

McPheeters outlined the following resources for both domestic  violence and suicide prevention.

Emergency-

  • Local Emergency Services- 911

Domestic Violence Help-

  • Casper Police Department- 307-235-8347
  • Natrona County Sheriff’s Office- 307-235-8338
  • Self Help Center- (307) 235-2814
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline- 1-800-799-7223

Suicide Prevention Help-

  • Central Wyoming Counseling Center- 307-237-9583
  • Wyoming Behavioral Institute- 307-457-9312
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

“Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors, characterized by one partner’s need to control the other by using a range of tactics. While the frequency and severity of physical or sexual violence may vary, coercion, intimidation and emotional manipulation occur on a routine basis throughout the relationship.

– Physical Abuse: hitting, slapping, punching, shoving, kicking, burning, strangulation/choking, using weapons or other objects to cause injury.

– Sexual Abuse: Forcing a partner to engage in unwanted sexual acts; refusing to practice safe sex; treating a partner like a sex object.

– Emotional Abuse: Name-calling and putdowns; denying/shifting blame; treating a partner as an inferior; threatening to harm self/others or to have a partner deported; abusing children or pets; stalking; using threatening looks, actions or gestures.

– Economic Abuse: Stealing or destroying belongings/money; preventing a partner from getting or keeping a job; not letting the partner know about or have access to family incoming; damaging or ruining a partner’s credit.

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

Every year thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.

It can be frightening if someone you love talks about suicidal thoughts. It can be even more frightening if you find yourself thinking about dying or giving up on life. Not taking these kinds of thoughts seriously can have devastating outcomes, as suicide is a permanent solution to (often) temporary problems.

Click this link to learn more about risk signs and how to seek help NAMI.org

– If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

-If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

– If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.”

Casper Police Department statement on Facebook; February 18, 2020

This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.


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