Karlan Denio, Albuquerque, New Mexico man with dementia dismembers wife Connie Denio on Thanksgiving day before guests were scheduled to arrive for festivities.
Relatives found Karlan Denio, 62, lying in bed with his wife Connie’s body on the floor ahead of the family’s Thanksgiving meal. Responding Albuquerque police took Denio into custody Thursday afternoon and charged the husband with first-degree murder, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Albuquerque Journal.
Police said relatives told them that Connie Denio had arranged for everyone to gather at her home around 1 p.m. Family members said they last heard from her around 5:30 p.m. the day before in a group chat ‘discussing plans for Thanksgiving.’
Denio’s brother was the first to arrive at the Denio home ahead of the ‘family festivities’, where he found he was unable to get inside and was unable to get in touch with Denio. He then called his sister who contacted local authorities about the ‘strange circumstances’. Police notified the siblings they could not force their way into the home.
The siblings then drove to the Denio home together, where they tried knocking on doors and windows while they waited for police to arrive, according to KOAT. They were finally able to enter the home via the garage.
Denio’s sister noted the house was dark inside upon entering the home where she then found her brother near her sister-in-law’s body.
‘Karlan looked at her, at which point [she] backed out of the residence and called police again,’ the complaint read.
Responding officers noted they found Connie’s body ‘dismembered and disemboweled‘ in the bedroom. Denio was taken to a nearby hospital for cuts to his leg and neck, KOB4 reported. The husband was soon after charged with murder in the death of his wife.
The incident left neighbors stunned and lost for words.
Rich Cordova, a neighbor, said he was in disbelief.
‘I’m stunned,’ Rich Cordova, a neighbor told the Albuquerque Journal. ‘That is unbelievable.’
Cordova said he had lived next to the Denio family for two decades and said it was the family he ‘would least expect’ to have such a tragedy befall them.
He said the couple were pleasant people who often walked together and would always wave hello. Cordova said the couple kept to themselves but were ‘nice folks’ who had two grown children.
Relatives reportedly told police Denio was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) two years ago. As per the mayoclinic: ‘Frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for a group of brain disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain are generally associated with personality, behavior and language.’
One psychological study from 2010 notes that people with FTD ‘are particularly prone to sociopathic behavior while retaining knowledge of their acts and of moral and conventional rules.’