Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 10, 2012

Police: Ind. couple's split led to two murders, a suicide


CNHI

— MIDDLETOWN, Ind. - A man recently divorced from his wife killed her, her new boyfriend and himself in a string of murders that has jarred this quiet community in central Indiana, police said.

Sheriff's deputies found Ruth Webb, 38, and Robert Morrow, 42, dead from apparent gunshot wounds in her home early Tuesday, said state police spokesman Sgt. John Bowling. Later that morning, police discovered Johnny Webb, 39, dead from gunshot wounds inside a van about three miles away.

Ruth Webb filed for divorce from Johnny Webb in January; it was granted in April. She was awarded custody of their teenager daughter, according to court documents.

Prosecutor Joseph Bergacs said he knew of no history of domestic violence between the Webbs, nor did he know a reason for the murders. Their daughter was not home at the time.

Ruth Webb and Morrow were “boyfriend and girlfriend,” said Bergacs, but he didn't know for how long.

Webb lived in a house surrounded by fields, a line of trees and scattered houses in an area that neighbors describe as peaceful. She was featured in a local newspaper story several years ago that described how she lost 147 pounds in Weight Watchers.

Morrow recently separated from his wife, with whom he had three children, according to his cousin, Joel Morrow Jr.

Johnny Webb was living in an apartment in Anderson, about 10 miles from Middletown. Two weeks ago he left a note for apartment manager Ed Ferree saying he could no longer pay rent but telling Ferree to keep the security deposit.

Webb recently told Ferree he'd bought a gun, said the apartment manager, adding that Webb didn't discuss his personal life.

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Details for this story were reported by the Herald-Bulletin of Anderson, Ind.