BONNERS FERRY — A 27-year-old woman with ties to Bonners Ferry was murdered Tuesday in western Oregon by her former fiancé, who then turned the gun on himself, according to authorities.
Julie Marie McDugle died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Suspect Wayne Elliot Nelson, 45, died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Both were found lying in a front yard in Siletz within a few feet of each other. McDugle’s hands were found bound behind her back.
Julie McDugle, the daughter of Margaret and Bob McDugle of Boundary County, was reportedly in the process of moving here, said Rich Stephens, chief deputy for Boundary County Sheriff’s Office. She reportedly was working at the Kootenai River Inn.
According to the Toledo Police Department near Newport, at 3:24 p.m. residents in Siletz called the Toledo dispatch center and reported they heard five gunshots fired. They could see a dead woman in the yard.
The caller also reported seeing a man leave the home and then shoot himself. The gunshot was heard over the phone at the Toledo dispatch center.
Nelson left a letter for police. He indicated was sorry for the murder of McDugle and the pain that it caused family members.
Detectives also obtained an e-mail sent by Nelson to his family two days prior to the homicide. The e-mail stated that Nelson was despondent over the failed relationship and that he “would not be able to recover from this one.”
The e-mail also indicated that Nelson considered McDugle his common-law wife, and that “till death do us part is a maxim” that he “intended to uphold.”
The investigation concluded that McDugle and Nelson were involved in a relationship for five years and were engaged to be married. According to family members, the engagement was broke off in June, and McDugle was in the process of moving her belongings from the Siletz residence.
Witnesses reported that McDugle went to the Siletz residence on Tuesday to retrieve additional personal belongings.
Domestic violence remains a major problem in the United States, where intimate-partner violence comprises around 20 percent of all violent crime against women. Nearly one-third of all women murdered in the United States in recent years were murdered by a current or former intimate partner, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A 2004 study by the Violence Policy Center of Washington D.C. found that in 2002, 54 percent of female homicide victims were shot and killed with a firearm. Of those, in 73 percent of cases, the gun used was a handgun.