Police have arrested the husband of an Ellington woman who was murdered in 2015.
Connecticut State Police arrested Richard Dabate on Friday and charged him with first-degree murder, Tampering with Evidence and Providing False Statement.
State police said they were called the couple's home on Birch View Drive in Ellington during the morning of Dec. 23, 2015, for a "residential alarm." Smoke was found inside the home. A short time later, police found Richard 's 39-year-old wife Connie Dabate dead.
Police said the call came in initially as a suspicious home invasion just days before Christmas. There were four 911 calls made to police. There was no voice at first, but the listener could hear smoke alarms in the background.
Richard Dabate was also hurt during the incident. But, Connecticut State Police never told Eyewitness News how he was hurt.
The medical examiner determined Connie Dabate's cause of death as gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen. Her death has been classified as a homicide, according to the medical examiner.
The crime was labeled as a homicide, but state police would not say if there were any new developments on Friday.
The couple has two small children.
Residents on Birchview Drive remember that terrible day.
Debate's friend Russell Stone was one of those people.
"It was a shock. There was no way in the world you could comprehend it...stuff like that doesn't happen here," Stone said.
He especially never expected such a horrible crime to happen to a friend.
"You see it on TV, the movies, sitcoms, but you don't see it on your street," Stone said.
Time moved on, but for Connie's friends, life was never the same in the area.
"The conversation is two minutes and then goes right to Connie...It's just a shadow hanging over everyone's head," Stone said.
To friends like Stone, the arrest was not a shock.
"Not surprised...we expected something like this a long time ago," Stone said.
He said they wondered if a mistake was made in the investigation of the crime scene because of how it took to make an arrest.
State police said it's nothing like that but this murder investigation is very complicated and detectives needed to time.
"This is for justification of the victim. If detectives do not do a thorough investigation, then the victim is victimized all over again.
Richard Dabate is being held on a $1 million bond and will be arraigned in court on Monday.
His warrant is available here.
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