Dayton man arrested in wife’s slaying
DAYTON – Christopher Deyerle said he didn’t kill himself after gunning down his wife Thursday night because he ran out of bullets, an investigator said.
“He used what he had in the gun, then ran off and left the rest of the bullets in his truck,” said Lyon County Sheriff’s Lt. John Arndell. “Apparently she wanted a divorce, and he couldn’t handle that.”
After a 15-hour man hunt, a homeowner on River Road spotted the shirtless Deyerle, 25, walking along the river bank three miles east of the murder scene.
On a side of town accessible only by a single bridge that was being watched by deputies, Deyerle tried to swim across the Carson River, Arndell said. But he got stuck in the middle. He allegedly stayed on an island all night then walked the east bank until daylight when he could cross the river.
“He hurt himself crossing the river and then he just said, ‘To hell with it,’ and walked up on the road,” Arndell said.
Deyerle was limping and soaking wet when he was taken into custody at 3:06 p.m. He allegedly asked Arndell if “that girl” was OK. When Deyerle learned she wasn’t, he cried, Arndell said.
Investigators allege that Heather and Christopher Deyerle were discussing divorce outside her parents’ home on Boulder Circle just before 9 p.m. when Deyerle pulled out a 9 mm handgun and fired at least six rounds, striking 24-year-old Heather in the pelvis and head.
Arndell said that when Mike Greene heard the noise, he ran outside and saw his daughter on the ground and his son-in-law running down the street. The 57-year-old father tried unsuccessfully to catch Deyerle, said Arndell. So he rushed back to his wounded daughter and carried her from the side of the house.
When deputies arrived on the quiet street filled with the scent of spring lilacs, Greene was lying down, cradling his only daughter and holding a rag to her head.
Heather was taken by helicopter to Washoe Medical Center where she died of her injuries around midnight.
Emotions alternated between anger and grief among her co-workers at the General Store in Mound House.
“I’d offer a $5,000 reward for him dead or alive – preferably dead,” said owner Terry Kelley before Deyerle’s capture. “We just thought the world of her. This is a hard one to handle.”
When Bonnie Norton was called Thursday night to cover Heather’s shift the next morning, everyone thought Heather was just injured.
Through tears on Friday morning, Norton had to tell customers she hadn’t survived.
All the regulars were familiar with the young woman who had worked behind the counter for almost two years, she said.
“She was such a sweet girl. She was living her life right.”
Friend Sharon Black agreed.
“She was a righteous young lady. It was her destiny to be a beautiful young woman,” she said.
The two had become friends because Black frequented the store. Their friendship grew closer when Black took a job two doors away at the Pizza King.
Heather would talk of her troubles with Deyerle. Though Deyerle was never violent or threatening to Heather, she said, he had gambling problems and every time they’d get out of debt, they’d be right back in, Black said.
When the couple would have to talk, she would offer her home as neutral ground.
“Heather knew it was safe there,” she said.
No one really thought “Chris” would hurt Heather.
“If Heather thought that, she wouldn’t have been outside with him,” older brother Mike Greene Jr. said.
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