More questions than answers in case of murdered Buckeye couple
(Source: CBS 5 News) Buckeye Police Chief Mark Mann said his department is investigating the details of the police process in which Elwood Moreno stabbed his parents to death after two calls they made to 911.
Buckeye police say Elwood Moreno confessed to stabbing his father and stepmother to death in October.
BUCKEYE, AZ (CBS5) -
A Buckeye couple called for help not once, but twice, and only a few hours later, they ended up dead, stabbed numerous times in a gruesome crime that leaves more questions than answers.
Nancy and Ramsey Moreno were very concerned about their adult son, Elwood Moreno, who they characterized as hearing voices and out of control.
Nancy Moreno called 911 and asked for help with her stepson about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 21.
"He's being very hyper and agitated to the point where we can't even control him," Nancy Moreno said.
She told the dispatcher 33-year-old Elwood Moreno was not himself when he came home from visiting with friends earlier that day.
"This is nothing like him. It's not him. You can tell by his eyes," she said on the 911 call.
Police reports show a Buckeye police officer came out to the apartment, at which time Nancy Moreno explained her stepson was recently released from jail.
The parolee claimed he was hearing voices, but refused the officer's offer to be taken for a mental evaluation. At that point, the officer instructed Nancy Moreno to call again if there were more problems and left, according to a police report.
About 3:20 a.m. Nancy Moreno called 911 again.
"We can't even go to sleep because we don't know what's he's going to do next," she said.
Buckeye police officers responded again. One report states Elwood Moreno was sweating profusely and that he was fidgety and pacing back and forth. It said he also appeared slightly paranoid and had bloodshot eyes.
It was on that second call that police reported Elwood Moreno agreed to go for a mental health evaluation. He left with his father but they couldn't find the facility and later returned home, according to police paperwork.
Only a few hours later, the Morenos were found murdered inside their apartment. Ramsey Moreno was stabbed 56 times and Nancy Moreno eight times. Elwood Moreno later confessed to their murder, according to police.
"They would've been here if he was put away. They would have still been here with us," cried Olivia Wilson, Ramsey Moreno's ex-wife.
CBS 5 News asked Buckeye Police Chief Mark Mann about the protocol for any situation where someone on parole is suspected of being under the influence.
"I'm not going to comment on that," Mann said.
Because of the ongoing investigation, Mann would only say the case is under legal review.
"Any time there's prior contact, police involvement and people end up dead, it's going to come under scrutiny. We want to take a look at it," Mann said.
Given the symptoms that officers observed, did they have enough to suspect Elwood Moreno was under the influence? If so, should they have arrested him on a parole violation? Would his parents still be alive today? Or are those decisions to take someone into custody solely up to the officer's discretion.
CBS 5 News continues to pursue answers to those questions.
Elwood Moreno faces several charges, including two counts of first-degree murder. He's scheduled to be back in court Nov. 29.
Copyright 2012 KPHO CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.