Sheriff’s records show Monroe County couple had disputes leading up to murder-suicide
TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) — There’s new information in the death of a LaGrange couple.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is calling the death of Rhonda and Patrick Woods a murder-suicide. News 8 requested police records that show the couple had problems prior to this incident.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office provided News 8 with records showing they were called twice to the Woods’ home for domestic related reasons.
Now two people are dead, and our investigation shows there were signs that things were not ok at their home on Foothill Avenue.
On the morning of Dec. 13, law enforcement responded to a report of a woman lying in the front yard of a home in the town of LaGrange just outside of Tomah.
Investigators discovered Patrick and Rhonda Woods, who both died of gunshot wounds.
A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office investigation shows Patrick Woods shot Rhonda Woods on the night of Dec. 12 and then turned the gun on himself.
On Oct. 20, police were called by Patrick Woods, who said his wife had gotten physical with him saying she “grabbed his wrist and leg, poked him in the chest and shook his head.” That lead to a police report being filed on Oct. 22.
Another call came in from Patrick Woods on Dec. 10, two days before he shot his wife. He told police Rhonda Woods threw her wedding ring at him.
New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers executive director Ann Kappauf could not comment on this case specifically, but she said there are several common warning signs that point to an abusive relationship.
“Typically, when a victim is experiencing abuse by the hands of a perpetrator, you don’t report it,” Kappauf said.
She said perpetrators will do whatever they can to keep the person they are hurting from asking for help.
“We here at New Horizons have also had perpetrators who have called us and said that they are the victim,” Kappauf said.
She said there are also times when things can escalate quickly. Investigators said the couple was in the process of getting a divorce.
“If you are in an abusive relationship, typically when a person wants to leave that abusive relationship is when they are in the most danger,” Kappauf said.
She said there are things people can do to try to prevent abusive relationships from ending in a tragedy.
“If you see that a relationship isn’t healthy, it’s OK to say to the victim, ‘I am concerned for your safety,'” Kappauf said.
Kappauf said signs that a person is in an abusive relationship are abusive stories a person shares, signs of bruising or a change in personality when they are around their perpetrator.
Anyone looking for help can call the New Horizons Crisis Line at 608-791-2600.
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