Ellenburg murder-suicide blamed on marital discord

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Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 3:28 am | Updated: 12:39 pm, Fri Aug 29, 2014.

ELLENBURG — Larry C. Williamson shot his wife, Pamela, and then himself because of marital problems, police say.

State Police Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain said autopsy results returned Monday show that Mrs. Williamson, 44, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head, fired by her husband.

She was found on her bed in an upstairs bedroom of the couple’s home at 1568 Bradley Pond Road, Ellenburg. His body was found nearby, LaFountain said.

The autopsies, performed at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh by Dr. Jolie Rodriguez, show he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Mrs. Williamson’s death was ruled a homicide; Mr. Williamson, 58, died by suicide.

The shotgun he used had been purchased within the last several weeks, LaFountain said.

Though no note was found, the investigation determined the motive to be “apparent marital problems,” the captain said.

“At this time, there is no indication of a history of domestic violence,” he said.

SISTER CONCERNED

The bodies were found at about 8 p.m. Saturday when a trooper responded to the farmhouse after Mrs. Williamson’s sister asked police to check on her welfare. 

Mrs. Williamson, who was originally from Maine, worked as a letter carrier for the Malone Post Office. 

She had two adult sons. 

Mrs. Williamson was an animal lover, and the couple had at least 30 dogs, which were removed from the property following the Williamsons’ deaths. 

“Some of the dogs were dogs that Pam had rescued along her mail route through her years as a postal worker,” Mooers Dog Control Officer Kaleigh Labombard told the Press-Republican. 

A friend of the Williamsons, Labombard took in 29 of the couple’s small dogs and is caring for them at the Mooers Animal Shelter.

Another, larger breed was taken by the Ellenburg Dog Control officer, she said, and transferred to the Malone Animal Shelter. 

“All of the dogs that are in my care seem to be in an OK condition,” Labombard said. “I had known the family on a personal level, and while I wasn’t aware they had this many dogs, I knew they loved them very much. 

“Anytime I (had) seen Pam, she had at least one dog with her.”

QUIET MAN 

In addition, the Williamsons also had a number of cats and horses on their property. 

Mr. Williamson raced harness horses and was a member of the U.S. Trotting Association from 2002 to 2010, when his membership expired. He had not been involved in the sport since 2009, according to the association. 

Though Champlain resident Sam Trombley Jr. didn’t know Mr. Williamson well, the two used to race horses at the same tracks, including Saratoga Harness Raceway in Saratoga Springs and at local fairs.

Trombley, however, hadn’t seen him around for the last three or four years. 

“He kind of got out of the game,” he said. 

Mr. Williamson kept to himself at the races, according to Trombley, and “was pretty much kind of a quiet feller.”

‘REALLY GOOD GUY’

Mr. Williamson was employed at Arno’s Scrap Metal in Ellenburg Center, where he had worked on and off over the years. 

He had just returned this spring after a short hiatus, according to owner Andy Arno.

“I am just shocked by this,” he said. “I just saw him Friday, and everything seemed fine.”

Mr. Williamson operated a front-end loader, moving scrap metal around, according to Arno, and did just about any other handyman job that was needed.

“I’m having a rough day,” he said Monday. “It was especially hard not to see him walk through that door this morning.”

Arno added that Mr. Williamson was always willing to help.

“He was a really good guy who would do anything for anybody at any time,” he said. “He would change a tire for you or fix something for you, and he never, ever would take any money.”

In fact, Arno noted, Mr. Williamson once built a deck on Arno’s house and sided his barn, both at no charge.

“I would give him something he wanted from the scrapyard maybe or let him take the gas out of junk vehicles, but he never would take any money,” he said. 

Arno added that he could not believe the news that Mr. Williamson had apparently killed his wife and then himself.

“I thought he was a really good guy, and I don’t have anything bad to say about him,” he said.

“I know it doesn’t look good now, but who knows what goes through somebody’s mind.”

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @JoeLotemplio