MWC Police Identify Murder Victim, Say Two Witnesses Hospitalized
MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma - Police in Midwest City confirm a 64-year-old woman was brutally murdered in her home. Two witnesses who also lived in the home are hospitalized.
A relative went to check on Violet Hemphill, 64, at her home located at 1038 Holly Lane on Monday, February 13. However, as the relative approached the home, police said he smelled a strong odor of natural gas and called 911.
Police and firefighters responded and found Hemphill dead with obvious signs of trauma to her body. The controls on the gas stove were turned on with no flames. Police believe the gas was turned on deliberately. Firefighters secured the house by disconnecting the gas and electric power sources to the home.
Detectives also discovered two other people inside the home. A 23-year-old man believed to be Hemphill's nephew was found in a bedroom passed out and nude. The man's 22-year-old girlfriend was found lying next to him, also nude and unresponsive. The two were taken to an area hospital, both suffering from gas asphyxiation and possible drug overdose. The woman is listed in critical condition while the man is expected to be released Tuesday.
"This is a very strange homicide and obviously, based on evidence at the scene, the nephew and girlfriend are witnesses but we have been unable to interview them due to their medical condition," Chief Brandon Clabes stated. "Officers are assigned with the witnesses until they are medically stable and brought to headquarters."
Investigators executed an evidentiary search warrant at Hemphill's home and interviewed multiple family members. The home was originally owned by Hemphill's mother who recently died. Police said the victim had only lived there for a short period of time before her murder.