Two hang-up calls preceded deaths

Deputy sent, but didn't go, to apparent murder-suicide

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



Audio records indicate that a March 28 hang-up call to emergency dispatchers preceded the suspected murder-suicide of Milton “Wayne” Allen and his wife, Fay Marie Allen, who were found dead inside their rural La Center mobile home three days after the call.

A 911 dispatcher who called back asked Wayne Allen to hand the phone to his wife, but the line disconnected.

An investigation into the incident is still active, said Clark County Sheriff’s Sgt. Fred Neiman, along with an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding a deputy who was dispatched to the home but never went.

Records indicate that a Clark Emergency Regional Services Agency dispatcher received a call from the Allens’ Fargher Lake-area home at 11:54 a.m. March 28, but the call disconnected before words were exchanged. When the dispatcher called back, Wayne Allen answered the phone:


“Hi, 911 here.”


“This is 911. I got a call from your home. Are you OK?”

“Oh, no. That was my wife. She accidentally done that.”

“OK. Is she OK? Does she need any help?”


“Is she OK? Does she need any help?”

“I don’t understand what you said.”

“Does your wife need any help from 911?”

“No, she does not.”

“OK, can I talk to her?”

The line then disconnected, and 911 sent a deputy to check on the couple, but the deputy canceled the call.

Fay Allen’s son called 911 on March 31 after not hearing from her for several days. He went to the home, saw cars there and knocked on the door, but no one answered, according to audio records. He also noted that his mother was concerned about Wayne Allen’s dementia and acknowledged that the couple had argued.

After getting the address, the 911 dispatcher asked when someone had last talked with the couple.

“The neighbor last saw them three days ago,” Fay Allen’s son said.

Deputies went to the house, entered through an unlocked rear door and found the couple dead from gunshot wounds, with evidence indicating that Wayne Allen, 71, shot and killed his wife, 70, before taking his own life, according to the sheriff’s office. The incident had apparently occurred several days prior.

The agency didn’t release the name of the deputy who canceled the call, but said the officer is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. There is no criminal investigation into the deputy’s actions, Neiman said.

“We want the public to maintain the confidence in the sheriff’s office that we do our job,” he said. “We’re certainly not hiding anything but the investigation has to be completed before we know where it will take us.”

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