Friend of Des Moines Homicide Victim Speaks Out

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Des Moines Police are still looking for answers after Harold Dudley allegedly shot and killed his wife Mary on Saturday morning.

The homicide was the city's 16th this year.

Candace Cole, one of Mary’s long-time friends, hopes answers come soon.

"I missed her before this happened because she had to go distant and wasn't allowed to be around people," Cole said.

Cole said Mary was a hard-working mother.

"She was working two full-time jobs at Firestone and at Casey's. Since meeting this gentleman and getting married she kind of backed away from her friends and a lot of stuff she became distant, and I don’t know if it was him over her or she just went into a shell," Cole said.

The man she is talking about is Mary's husband Harold, who is now charged with her murder.

"There were some major red flags. I had not talked to her for over six months and she called me one day and said she wanted to come over and talk,” Cole said. She also noted Mary told her she had "been married for a while but...wasn't allowed to tell anybody."

Cole believes that was the first sign of abuse. Court documents also shed a light on Harold Dudley's troubling past. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to child endangerment, and in 1996 to third degree sexual abuse.

“Nobody knows what led up to this. The only thing that anybody's been told is that she was on the phone with police saying he was trying to break into the home," Cole said.

At the time of the break-in, Mary was home with her dog. Her son Deshawn has been in and out of juvenile hall.

"She wanted to move out, she wanted to make sure things were better so he could live there with her, because this guy had a really bad past and she wanted to do right by Deshawn," Cole said.

Harold is being held in the Polk County Jail on a bond of over $1 million.