Crime

Ada sheriff asks again for patience on investigation into Foothills deaths

Responding to continuing questions from the media and community members about who killed three members of the Welp family last month, Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney said Thursday the man they have in custody “is a suspect in these killings” although he still has not been charged with the deaths.

Three bodies were found in the home at 9700 North Cartwright Road the morning of March 10: Ted Welp, 80, his 77-year-old wife, Elaine, and their 52-year-old son, Tom. Raney described the crime scene as probably the bloodiest and most horrific he has seen in 31 years of law enforcement.

Adam Dees, 22, was arrested the day the bodies were found, charged with stealing and using the murder victims’ credit cards. In a news conference the day Dees was arrested, Raney said the killings raised continuing safety issues for the community. Three days later he said the community was safe but would not say if that meant Dees was the suspected killer.

Since then, the sheriff’s office has released no new details about the crimes. That continued Thursday, with Raney only affirming Dees’ status as a suspect.

Here’s the full statement from Raney:

“The murder of three people in their foothills home is shocking and horrific. I understand you have questions and want to know as much as possible about the investigation. I do too. The good news is Ada County Sheriff’s detectives have found lots of answers. And they are working tirelessly to piece together the case.

“This investigation is about the Welps. I want justice for the victims. Every day we get one step closer to that. All of the information and evidence is being turned over to prosecutors as we move toward charges in this case.

“As soon as we can share some of those details without jeopardizing our investigation into this horrible crime — or any court proceedings that arise from it — we will.

“There is one man in custody on theft and forgery charges in connection with this case. At this point in the investigation, I can tell you that man — Adam Dees — is a suspect in the triple homicide.

“It is important to point out, however, that Dees is not currently charged with those deaths.

“As I said before, I do not believe there is an ongoing threat in our community related to these deaths. I feel more confident than ever that is true. I think that confidence will become clearer to you in the weeks ahead.”

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