The following press release was issued by the Lovell Police Department on Friday evening:
The Lovell Police Department is currently investigating a murder that occurred in the afternoon/evening hours of Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, at an apartment (in the Rose City West complex) located in the 400 block of West 7th Street in Lovell.
Officers initially responded to the scene for a welfare concern that was called in by a family member. Upon arrival officers identified a possible crime scene and gained entry into an apartment to check on the occupant. Officers identified the murder victim as 49-year-old Carol Jean Barnes of Cowley.
An immediate search for the known suspect was initiated with a collaborative effort of the Lovell Police Department, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation. The suspect, 48-year–old Donald Joe Crouse, was located in Mills, Wyo., and is currently in custody. Mills police officers took Crouse into custody without incident. Crouse faces first–degree murder charges.
Crouse and Barnes were known to each other and had been involved in a relationship previously.
The Lovell Police Department continues to work closely with the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation, as well as the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office and the Mills Police Department. The combined efforts of the law enforcement agencies resulted in the swift apprehension of the suspect.
Our thoughts, prayers and sympathy are extended to the victim’s family and loved ones.
Chief of Police,
Lovell Police Department