Family of slain Special Forces soldier begs for help solving case

By NANCY MCCLEARY | The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer | Published: February 17, 2014

No translator was needed to interpret the words of Maria Wells, the mother of a slain Special Forces soldier, as she asked for help in solving her son's murder.

Maria Wells spoke in Spanish, but her message was clear. Tearing up and holding back sobs, she begged anyone with information to come forward to help find those responsible for killing her son, Sean Wayne Wells.

She was joined by Wells' widow, Rocio Wells, and his sister, Cindy VanHoose, in asking for leads during a press conference today at the Fayetteville Police Department.

"This was a deliberate, brutal and horrifying act that happened to my family," said Diane VanHoose, Wells' sister, who spoke in English. "He loved his family, his life and his work. Not knowing who did this and what happened to him is hard."

The homicide remains the only unsolved murder of 2013, Assistant Chief Charles Kimble said.

"We believe it's solvable," he said.

Wells, 35, a 15-year Army veteran who was with the 3rd Special Forces Group, was shot to death by two men who came in through an unlocked door about 8:50 p.m. on Oct. 7.

The men wore masks and carried guns, Kimble said. They forced Rocio Wells and the couple's 4-year-old son, Seth, into another room, Kimble said.

They shot Wells and left, one of them driving a white 2012 Toyota Camry that belonged to Wells' wife, Kimble said.

The Camry was found the next day on Rembrandt Drive at Sunset Mobile Home Park, Kimble said. A white male was seen getting out of the Camry and into a white pickup truck.

It's thought to be the same white pickup truck was seen parked outside Wells' home just before gunshots were heard, Kimble said.

Initial reports identified a dark-colored pickup truck, but those were incorrect, Kimble said.

Investigators have said they don't think Wells' murder was random.

Wells grew up in California and Mexico, his mother said. He completed his education in Mexico and then returned to the United States and joined the Army.

"From the first moment, he loved being in the Army," Maria Wells said.

His father had been in the 82nd Airborne, VanHoose said, and Wells wanted to follow in his footsteps.

"He was the most proud soldier," Maria Wells said. "He loved what he did."

Maria Wells works at a high school in Las Vegas, she said, and at her request, Wells once came to the school and talked to students about the military.

Wells came to Fort Bragg seven years ago, about the time he married, Rocio Wells said.

She didn't want to talk about the events that happened Oct. 7, but said she has no idea why anyone would have wanted to harm her husband.

Rocio Wells no longer lives in the house on Beaver Run Drive, but says she remains fearful with her husband's killer on the loose.

"I just want to live in peace with my boy," she said.

Police are planning to set up two checkpoints Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m., Kimble said. One will be on Rembrandt Drive at Sunset Mobile Home Park and other on Beaver Run Drive.

A command post will be set up at the Montibello Shopping Center and Cliffdale and Rim roads.

Anyone with information can call police at 433-1856 or Crimestoppers at 483-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted to Crimestoppers online at www.fay-nccrimestoppers.org/send_a_tip.aspx.


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