Published July 10 2012
Police suspect bodies found dead in south Fargo result of murder-suicide
Deputy Chief Pat Claus said it appears Daniel Williams, 54, fatally shot his wife, Linda, 51, before turning the gun on himself.
A family member visited the home at 1830 16½ St. S. on Tuesday morning after learning from Linda’s employer that she did not show up to work. The family member, whom police did not identify, found one body and contacted police, who found the second.
Claus said it’s not yet clear when the couple died. He said neither went to work Monday or Tuesday. They haven’t been seen since the weekend by anyone police have interviewed, either, he said.
He said multiple firearms were recovered from the home but declined to say whether investigators, who swept the home for evidence Tuesday afternoon, found anything that would indicate a motive for the killings.
Claus said there was no known history of disturbances between the two. Linda Williams had no criminal history in North Dakota, and Daniel Williams’ only incident on record was a misdemeanor assault stemming from a drunken fight with his brother in the home a decade ago.
The investigation is ongoing.
Neighbors say there were no signs of discord from the home and described the couple as friendly and active.
Ashley Olson, who lives across the street with her husband and two daughters, said she didn’t know the couple well, but “they seemed to get along great.”
She said she saw the two gardening frequently. Just a few days before the deaths were discovered, she saw Linda Williams watering her flowers.
She said Garrett Williams, Daniel and Linda’s 22-year-old son, was a frequent visitor. The couple also had a daughter, Andrea Williams, 24.
Olson said the killings were jarring in the quiet, family-oriented neighborhood. The Williams home is just across the street from the athletic fields of nearby Lewis & Clark Elementary.
“We’re a pretty tight-knit group,” she said. “I’m shaking right now.”
Dan Peterson, who grew up in the home behind the Williams, didn’t know anything was wrong until an officer came by to interview him Tuesday morning.
“He asked me if I had heard a gunshot,” Peterson said.
Peterson, 23, said he played with Garrett and Andrea as a child, and was taken aback to learn of the killings.
“You just wouldn’t expect it to happen right next door,” he said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502
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