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Police line

A man wanted for allegedly murdering a woman on Thursday in northern Wyoming was found by law enforcement in Mills, according to a Lovell Police Department news release.

Donald Joe Crouse, 48, is currently in custody and faces first-degree murder charges, according to the release.

Police in Lovell went to an apartment on Thursday for a welfare check and found Carol Jean Barnes, 49, of Cowley dead inside, the release states. She was killed sometime in the afternoon or evening of the same day.

Crouse was arrested in Mills after a search by the Lovell Police Department, The Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. The release did not specify when Crouse was taken into custody and Lovell police declined to answer additional questions.

A Natrona County Sheriff’s Office spokesman declined to comment when reached about the case.

Police said Crouse and Barnes were previously in a relationship of an unspecified nature.

“Our thoughts, prayers and sympathy are extended to the victim’s family and loved ones,” Lovell police Chief Dan Laffin wrote in the release.

Lovell police continue to work with local and state agencies, though the nature of that work was not specified.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson


Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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