John Welles Murder | How Did He Die Every Mystery Revealed!

The inhabitants of Arcadia, Florida, bore witness to a grisly murder in 2003 after the police discovered John Welles’ deceased body in the ditch. The 17-year-old was last seen around 11:30 am on the morning of July 8, 2003.

However, the body was found missing shortly after, and, within a few hours, the incident had become murder. Season 4 of ‘CounterClock’ chronicles John’s demise and takes viewers through the investigation of the police, that tried to determine the cause of the matter. Let’s explore the details of the investigation and discover more about it, shall we?

How Did John Welles Die?

John Welles was a lively high school student at 17 and was loved by his peers and family. People who knew him spoke about his kindness and said he was always ready to help or meet a new acquaintance. Additionally, as a top scholar, John had aspirations of becoming a member of the Coast Guard after completing his schooling. John was also well-known in Fort Ogden Methodist Church and lived with his parents in Arcadia, Florida.

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On July 8, 2003, John was able to head into the neighborhood Walmart store to shop and returned home at about 11:30 pm. It was a surprise to discover that he had disappeared soon after and seemed to be gone into the air. Within a few minutes, a large number began gathering at the Welles family home and began searching across the area, looking for the teen. In contrast, John’s mother, Pat, was even on the phone and declared her grandson missing. In a shocking incident, John’s body was found floating within the watery ditch of Joshua Creek. The vehicle the victim was driving was also found in the vicinity.

While people immediately informed investigators of the location, police could only get to the scene within 24 hours of the boy’s disappearance being first reported missing. The scene was a mess by the time, and a person had removed evidence that could have been vital. However, following an initial examination, investigators believed John was able to slip into the water accidentally and then struck his head against the metal piece, and then drowned. But an autopsy later confirmed that John had a bullet lodged inside his head. The authorities were aware that they had a homicide investigation on their hands.

Who Killed John Welles?

An initial probe into the murder of John was slow because witnesses were not available nor appropriate avenues to pursue. Even though law enforcement officials could sit through several interviews and seek out witnesses, most avenues led to an end in a rut, and the detectives returned to square one. But, as per the audio podcast chatting with people for some time, investigators discovered his grandmother Pat was the one who had taken certain objects from the crime site before the arrival of police. In addition, she was one of three who first discovered the victim’s body in Joshua Creek. However, when asked about it, Pat insisted on her innocence and said she was not involved with the murder.

Alongside Pat’s police, they also investigated two other suspects in the case, including Pat’s stepson Skip and John’s acquaintance, Patrick Skinner. In a fascinating twist, the podcast noted the fact that Patrick Skinner revealed how John’s relationship with Skip was strained before his death.

Additionally, Skinner even talked about the time he discovered a loaded gun near John’s vehicle, which was just feet from the ditch in which John’s body was discovered. However, during the excitement of finding the gun, Skinner could not determine whether the gun contained an empty magazine or there was a single missing bullet, and the gun was subsequently concealed from police. However, investigators could not be able to get away without Skip because he vehemently denied involvement in the murder and was incredibly insistent about his innocence.

In the following months, investigators tried to think of different theories regarding the murder and eventually discovered that John was involved in an ongoing land dispute. Though this might be the reason behind the killing, police couldn’t link John’s death with the incident. In 2006, police had an amazing breakthrough when a teen known as Sara came to the police station and said she had a tip concerning the murder of John.

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In an interview, Sara mentioned that she was in a relationship of violence with her friend, 19 years old Kevin Callahan, who knew how John had been killed. Even though Kevin did not confess, he did tell Sara that he owned the gun that was identical to the bullet found inside John’s head. It seemed like a good enough clue to follow. However, the podcast pointed out that the detectives did not pay any interest in the information.

In the year 2017, around 14 years after the murder of John, the autopsy report said that the firearm fell out of John’s holster after he attempted to get off his vehicle. He then struck a piece of steel and discharged it haphazardly, hitting the victim in the head. Additionally, a forensic pathologist and a specialist in firearms reconstruction reviewed the report and came to a similar conclusion. So, their method of death of John turned out to be an accident, and the police managed to end their investigation into the homicide. Today, John is believed to be dead from an accidental firearm discharge, and nobody has been arrested or suspected of a similar. 

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