[Masthead] Fair ~ 57°F  
High: 74°F ~ Low: 55°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Former fire chief busted for murder

Monday, December 4, 2006

A former fire chief was charged with killing his wife after their 8-year-old daughter found her mother's body in their home near Queen Creek, Ariz.

Dennis Crouse, the former fire chief of Otho, in Webster County, was arraigned Wednesday for murder.

Diane Crouse, 36, was found stabbed multiple times on Tuesday after her daughter returned from school.

"She came home, saw her mom in a pool of blood not moving," said Mike Minter, spokesman for the Pinal County sheriff's office.

Minter said Dennis Crouse was arrested when he returned home. A 1-year-old child was in the home but unharmed, he said. A motive was not immediately clear Wednesday night.

Crouse, 50, had also been a Webster County sheriff's reserve deputy from 1998 to 2005.

"He was a good firefighter," said Tony Jorgensen, Webster County's emergency management coordinator. "He did a lot for his community."

Jorgensen said he knew Dennis Crouse since their childhood and described him as easy to get along with.

"It's so hard to think of this happening," he said.

The Crouses were living in Rancho Belle Vista, which residents describe as a good, quiet community southeast of Mesa, Ariz.

Neighbors said the wife was home during the days, but they never heard any struggled. Family members from Iowa were reportedly traveling to Arizona on Wednesday to take the children into custody.

Crouse is set to make another court appearance Dec. 8.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: