Missing Whidbey Island woman fearful of son

Betty Tews - Courtesy photo
Betty Tews
— image credit: Courtesy photo

An elderly woman reported missing from her North Whidbey home twice sought court orders last year to protect her from her adult son. She claimed in one petition that he pointed a rifle at her head, court documents indicate.

Betty Tews, an 81-year-old resident of Sonic Lane, went missing sometime prior to June 21, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Her disappearance is considered suspicious. She is described as frail and in need of daily medication.

Detective Ed Wallace, the spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said he couldn’t discuss specifics of the case at this point in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

“We’re still trying to locate Betty,” he said.

Court documents show that Tews filed two petitions for “vulnerable adult order for protection” against her son, 55-year-old Raymond Willey. He has lived with his mother off and on. Wallace said Willey was living with Tews when she went missing and that her disappearance wasn’t reported right away.

In addition, Willey is facing a felony assault charge for allegedly stabbing a man in the head because he was angry after a phone conversation with his mother, according to court documents.

Tews filed her first petition in Island County Superior Court on March 11, 2010. She wrote that she wanted Willey out of her home because she was afraid of him.

“I feel the respondent will act out in revenge and may harm me,” she wrote. “He will not leave my home when asked. He shows signs of paranoia — mixed with alcohol use and loaded weapons. I am fearful with him in my house.”

Tews claimed that she fell and broke her hip at home, but Willey would not help her. He told her that her hip wasn’t broken and that she should stop “squealing like a stuck pig,” she wrote. She lay on the ground for two hours before calling a friend for help.

Tews wrote that she has several handguns and rifles in the room that Willey occupies. She wrote that he told her he loaded all the guns and brought one into the kitchen for her.

“I am unclear of his motive,” she wrote.

Tews also wrote that she wanted law enforcement to help her secure her credit cards and her will.

Island County Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill granted a temporary order and later a permanent “vulnerable adult order for protection” that barred Willey from his mother’s home or from having any contact with her.

Then on May 18, Tews filed a motion to terminate the order. She wrote that her stepdaughter wouldn’t let her drive her car, so she needed Willey to get her mail, put her trash out and shop for her. As a result, the judge terminated the protection order.

But again on Sept. 21, Tews filed a second petition for a vulnerable adult protection order.

In the petition, Tews wrote that a week earlier Willey spent the day drinking, pointed a rifle at her head and told her to say goodbye. She claimed she tried to knock the gun out of his hands and bruised her arm. She attached a photo of her bruised arm, apparently taken at Whidbey General Hospital.

In addition, she wrote that her son refused to take her to medical appointments. She claimed she was having chest pains one day and he refused to help her or bring her the phone; she found that her Lifeline device was disabled, she wrote. Also, she claimed that Willey makes her give him money she withdraws from the bank.

The judge approved the temporary order and set the hearing for the permanent protection order for Sept. 29. Tews didn’t show up for the hearing, however, and the judge dismissed the petition. The temporary order expired on that day.

Months later, on Feb. 18, Willey allegedly attacked a man in Oak Harbor, court documents allege. The man reported that he accepted a ride with Willey. Willey pulled over during the drive and spoke on his cell phone with his mother, who had kicked him out of her house, according to the police detective’s report.

The report indicates that the phone call upset Willey and that he suddenly attacked his passenger after hanging up. Willey allegedly stabbed the man in the head and face with a pocket knife, the report states.

Willey then drove the man to the Whidbey General Hospital community clinic on NE Goldie Street and dropped him off. The man was transported to Whidbey General Hospital for immediate treatment; the detective wrote that the wounds were mostly superficial, but three or four lacerations required stitches.

Prosecutors charged Willey with assault in the second degree. His trial is set for Dec. 13.












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