911 call being reviewed by Enfield police - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

911 call being reviewed by Enfield police

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The following photo of John Dewees Jr. was provided by the Enfield Police Department. The following photo of John Dewees Jr. was provided by the Enfield Police Department.

There are questions on how a dispatcher handled an emergency call from the son of the man now charged in the death of his wife.

On May 22, police were called to the home of 49-year-old John Dewees Jr. on Magnolia Drive in Enfield for a well-being check.

  • 911 Dispatcher: "Who is at 3, 4 Magnolia Drive?"
  • Caller: "Uh, John Dewees."
  • 911 Dispatcher: "Who? Spell it."
  • Caller: "D-e-w-e-e-s"
  • 911 Dispatcher: "And what about him?"
  • Caller: "I just want to make sure everything is alright, at the house."
  • 911 Dispatcher: "Well, you're not saying anything. You're ask... What is supposed to be going on?"

Enfield police found Dewees' wife, 45-year-old Anja Dewees, dead inside. Investigators said they believe she had been there for as many as three days, but they didn't know for sure yet.

In emergency calls released on Thursday, Dewees' son said he was concerned for his father's well-being.

  • Caller: "I just want to make sure that he's fine."
  • 911 Dispatcher: "OK. Why are you doing this anonymously. If you're concerned for his safety and what is going on with him, why are you doing it anonymously? What is supposed to be wrong with this guy?"
  • Caller: "Cuz, he's my dad."
  • 911 Dispatcher: "OK, so you are."
  • Caller: "Why are you giving me such an attitude? I'm trying to make sure that he's fine."
  • 911 Dispatcher: "You, you. You want someone to check out and see if he's OK, that's fine. But you want to do it anonymously, it doesn't make any sense."

The office of the chief medical examiner ruled Anja Dewees' death a homicide.

Police said Anja Dewees may have been sick, but they did not believe she was terminally ill. According to the court documents, John Dewees said his wife was sick for four years and that he had been taking care of her because she couldn't get out of bed.

According to court documents, police found the body of the female lying on the bedroom floor wrapped in a plastic water bed mattress with duct tape on it.

The suspect's son never mentions his father's wife in that 911 call. 

  • Dispatcher: "Why do you think that something is wrong with him? He's an alcoholic? He's into drugs? You're not telling me anything."
  • Caller: "Alright, he's an alcoholic and he's very abusive."
  • Dispatcher: "Have you tried to call?"
  • Caller: "I'm asking you to go over there and try to talk to him. Yes, I've tried to call."
  • Dispatcher: "I'll send somebody up."

John Dewees' son called again and this time to cancel the welfare check.

  • Caller: "You're not understanding me. Because you're not helping when you are yelling at somebody."
  • 911 Dispatcher: "And you're not giving me any information, so what am I supposed to do? Just anonymously send somebody to check on somebody and we don't know why? That doesn't make any sense, just stop and think about it!"
  • Caller: "I have thought about it, all night."

John Dewees was arrested and was charged with first-degree manslaughter.

Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza told Eyewitness News they're now investigating the 911 call.

"We're going to look into it further and get both sides of the story. There's a certain level of professionalism we expect, and if we find that wasn't the case in this matter, we'll deal with it and take whatever action is necessary to correct the situation," Sferrazza said in a statement Thursday.

Enfield Town Manager Matt Coppler also released a statement.

"I have the utmost confidence the chief and public safety director will do a thorough investigation and review. And if they find someone did not live up to Enfield's expectations and standards, I am confident they will take quick, corrective action," Coppler said.

Sferrazza also said he's confident the call did not jeopardize public safety.

There's no mention in the warrant that the son ever called 911 the day before Anja Dewees' body was found.

Police said Dewees actually stopped by a neighbor's house and told the neighbor that there had been a deadly accident in the bath tub.

"The husband came over here with his wrists slit, scarred, dried blood on the wrist. Freaked out," a caller told dispatchers.

John Dewees allegedly said that his wife's wrapped body had been that way for days.

  • 911 Dispatcher: "She's passed away? Just now? Or what?"
  • Caller: "Apparently, it was three days ago. Three days ago. He was trying to give her a bath. He banged her head on the bath tub and she passed away. She's been ill for a long time."
  • Caller: "Um, I'm like 'dude, that's not cool you have to call 911, you have to tell them it was an accident.'"

The medical examiner ruled that Anja Dewees suffered a skull fracture, a blunt force injury to the head and bad bruising.

Police said John Dewees confessed that he punched his sick wife twice and elbowed her in the torso after she soiled herself.

John Dewees is being held on a $175,000 bond and will remain on suicide watch after telling police that he tried to slit his wrists so he could be with his wife in heaven.

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