Fremont County Tops In Homicides Despite Having Only 6.8% Of Population

A Cowboy State Daily survey of all 23 Wyoming county coroners shows that Fremont County has the highest number of homicides with 30% of the state's total despite having just 6.8% of the population.

Clair McFarland

April 25, 20245 min read

Wyoming murders illustration 4 25 24

Wyoming has had 20 homicides so far this year, with six of those in Fremont County, coroners from around the state report.

Cowboy State Daily contacted all 23 Wyoming county coroners this week, who reported that the deaths they attribute to homicide aren’t necessarily criminal acts. Homicide is a manner of death in which one person kills another. Homicides can be criminal, justified or accidental in nature.

Fremont County Coroner Erin Ivie has confirmed six homicides so far in the central-Wyoming county of 39,815 people.

That means Fremont has amassed 30% of the state’s homicides for the year so far while being home to just 6.8% of the population.

But the total of six could be tentative: the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the suspicious death of a teen found in a home outside Riverton on Monday morning.

The Fremont County undersheriff did not respond by publication time to two voicemails requesting additional comment on that case.

Those With Zero

Fifteen of the state’s 23 county coroners said they have not had any homicides in their respective counties this year.

Those zero-homicide counties are Albany, Big Horn, Carbon, Crook, Goshen, Johnson, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Park, Platte, Niobrara, Sublette, Uinta, Washakie and Weston.

“We try to keep it down like that,” Weston County Coroner Scott Beachler told Cowboy State Daily with a laugh.

Like many other coroners who share his county’s no-killing status, Beachler credited the county’s low population, which is 6,808, according to July 2023 state data.

He also noted that nearly everyone in Weston County is armed.

“You have a greater respect for each other, I think, when you’re more equal” in that way, he said.

Hot Springs County Coroner Mark Mortimore said his county is tightknit, a place where “everybody knows everybody, and we watch out for our neighbors.”

Sublette County saw several homicides from about 2004-2010 during an economic boom in the gas industry, Coroner Curt Covill said. But that died down and so did the homicide rates.

He said he couldn’t recall a single killing death in his county from the past five years.

Second, Third

Laramie County has had four homicides so far this year, Chief Deputy Coroner Char Madden told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday. That’s a rough match to the population of the state’s largest county, comprising 20% of the total homicide count while the county has 17.3% of the state’s population.

Natrona County has had three homicides so far, which is another proportionate figure: That’s 15% of the total homicide count while Natrona’s population is 13.7% of the state total.

What An Outlier

Sheridan County also reports three homicides to date for 2024. One involved a son allegedly killing his mother and the other two involved a man reportedly killing a police officer, then being killed himself following a police standoff.

The year has been an outlier, said Sheridan County Coroner Dr. Robert Byrd.

“I think one (homicide) is even high for us,” he said. But he suspects increasing populations may be driving up the killing rates. “You just have to look at the dynamics of Wyoming. It’s growing.”

Sheridan County gained about 500 residents between July 2022 and July 2023, and has been growing by that rate or higher since 2020 at least. Wyoming in total gained nearly 3,000 residents between 2022 and 2023 and has grown from a population of 576,850 in 2020 to 584,057 in 2023, a difference of 7,207.

That means Sheridan County’s share of the state’s most recent year’s growth is 6.7% while its share of the state’s total population is 5.56%. It’s had 15% of the state’s homicides so far this year.

And With One

Four coroners each reported one homicide for the year.

Those were in Campbell, Converse, Sweetwater and Teton counties.

Campbell County’s lone 2024 homicide was a vehicle crash, said Coroner Paul Wallem, who voiced concerns about increased drunk driving deaths in the area.

Though not all counted as homicides, he’s investigated three drunk driving deaths since March 30, he said.

“That’s a lot for this early in the year,” said Wallem.

Matricide, Skiing Crash

Converse County’s one 2024 homicide involved a woman allegedly killing her mother.

Sweetwater County’s one homicide this year happened during a murder-suicide, Coroner Dale Majhanovich said.

Teton County’s one homicide stems from an April 14 collision in which one skier ran over another skier and the latter died three days later, Coroner Dr. Brent Blue told Cowboy State Daily.

The Teton County Sheriff’s office is asking any members of the public who witnessed the collision to contact Teton County Detective Bret Bommer at the sheriff’s office.

These Are The Ratios

Campbell County’s population outpaces its killings, with 8.1% of the state’s population and 5% of its homicides to date.

Converse County is at 2.4% of the state population and 5% of its homicides; Sweetwater has 7.1% of the state population and 5% of its homicides.

And, Suicides

Though content to exult in their low homicide rates, coroners in Lincoln and Crook Counties said they’re concerned about high suicide rates.

Crook County Coroner Mike Frolander said his county has had one suicide so far this year, but that’s high for the tiny county of 7,419 people. Substance abuse and the sparse and desolate nature of the land both contribute, he said.

There haven’t been any suicides so far in Lincoln County this year, said Coroner Dain Schwab. But in prior years they can range from three to six in the county of 20,880 people.

“(That’s) something I wish we could fix,” said Schwab.

Wyoming has the highest per capita suicide rate in the nation at 32.3 per 100,000 residents, according to World Population Review.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

Share this article



Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter