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Published July 11 2012

Shotguns found near man’s body at Fargo crime scene

FARGO – A Fargo man who police believe shot his wife before killing himself was found in a bed with “obvious head trauma” and shotguns near his body, according to crime scene details contained in a search warrant.

Fargo police say their preliminary investigation points to the deaths of Daniel Williams, 54, and Linda Williams, 51, as a murder-suicide.

Police won’t discuss a possible motive “until we’re sure that there aren’t any other workable theories of the crime,” Lt. Joel Vettel said Wednesday.

The physical evidence at the scene and statements collected by investigators led to the murder-suicide theory, Vettel said.

According to the search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday in Cass County District Court, the Williams’ daughter was contacted by her mother’s employer, Microsoft, on Tuesday morning because she didn’t show up for work for the second consecutive day.

Andrea Williams drove to her parents’ house at 1830 16th St. S. and went inside. She noticed her mother’s room was empty, but when she looked in her father’s room she found him deceased on the bed with a shotgun or rifle near his body, the affidavit states. She immediately left the house and called 911.

Two police officers entered the house at 8:21 a.m., finding Linda Williams on the floor with trauma to her body in the same room as her husband. A pair of broken eyeglasses was next to her, according to an inventory of items collected at the scene.

The inventory also lists shotguns that were found on the floor on both sides of Daniel Williams, and a shotgun shell that was found on the floor in the bedroom’s entryway.

“We will be conducting tests on all weapons we collected at the crime scene,” Vettel said.

Police also seized two cellphones and a laptop from the residence.

Investigators are developing a timeline to establish who was in the house and when, Vettel said.

Andrea Williams, 24, declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday. The Williamses also had a son, Garrett Williams, 22, and both he and his sister still used the address as their mailing address, the affidavit states.

Neighbors told The Forum on Tuesday that there were no signs of discord from the home, and they described the couple as friendly and active.


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Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528