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Crime News Family Crimes

Nebraska Man Killed His Wife, Her New Boyfriend, Then Himself, Just Months After They Married

"We awoke to gunshots and yelling in my living room," said the family of Hayes Morgheim, who was fatally shot in the double-murder suicide. 


By Dorian Geiger
Exes and Lovers Killed By Jealousy

A Nebraska man allegedly gunned down his wife and her new boyfriend that she’d met online months after the couple was married.

Rex Goodell, 26, shot and killed his newlywed wife, Emily Goodell, 23, and her new boyfriend, Hayes Morgheim, 23, before turning the gun on himself in the early morning hours of June 4, Grand Island Police said, according to Nebraska television outlet KSNB Local4.

The double-murder suicide occurred after the couple had said their vows at a courthouse wedding ceremony in March, just 72 days earlier, according to Fox affiliate KFXL.

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Shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday, police say Rex had attempted to contact his wife at a property on Arizona Ave. in Grand Island, according to the Grand Island Independent. The home, authorities said, belonged to Morgheim’s parents. 

Morgheim confronted Rex outside the home and requested he leave at around 2:15 a.m. Shots later erupted near the front door and living room, authorities said.

A photo of Rex Goodell and Emily Goodell

According to a search warrant, authorities were initially called to the property to respond to a potential in-home burglary, per KFXL.

Rex later shot and killed himself before law enforcement descended onto the scene. Morgheim's mother and her fiancé were also home at the time of the incident. No one else was harmed during the shooting, law enforcement said. 

Police later seized a loaded 9-millimeter pistol as well as 11 bullet casings and fragments and multiple electronic devices from the crime scene. 

The Goodells lived together in Lincoln. A history of domestic violence was not evident in a court record search. 

According to Morgheim’s family, Emily had recently started dating the 23-year-old after the pair met online. They’d only seen each other a few times, they said. Relatives of Morgheim insisted that Emily was attempting to flee a fractured relationship with her husband, which they claimed was boiling over with domestic issues. 

Morgheim’s family was adamant he was gunned down trying to help his new girlfriend, who had come to the home where the shooting unfolded because she didn’t feel “safe.”

"Emily had told Hayes that she did not feel safe at all and wanted to leave their Lincoln home Saturday night," Morgheim's mother’s fiancé told the Grand Island Independent.

The newspaper didn’t publish the man’s name for  privacy concerns in the aftermath of the tragic incident.  

"So Hayes, being the kind-hearted soul that he is, did that and brought her here to be safe, at least overnight until a plan could be figured out on Sunday," the man added.

Morgheim’s family hadn’t had the opportunity to meet his new girlfriend before the double-murder suicide since their relationship was so fresh.

"So he brought her here,” the fiancé of Morgheim’s mother said. “We were home asleep in bed. They got back from Lincoln late Saturday night, and they were sitting downstairs talking. Then the next thing I know, we awoke to gunshots and yelling in my living room."

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Prior to the grisly incident, Rex had posted a number of glowing messages about Emily.

“Moms are never fully appreciated,” Goodell wrote in April, Law & Crime reported. “I certainly recognize these moments though and are so thankful for my kids to have such a wonderful mother!!!” 

He described her as a “strong, Independent, amazing, beautiful and kind woman.”

“She is my one and only and my soul mate,” Rex added. “[L]ove this woman with all my heart, to the moon and back, and to infinity and beyond. She is my rock, my heaven, and my hell. I can’t wait for the adventures we have ahead of us and to watch our kids grow up together. I’m truly blessed to have found this amazing woman.” 

Morgheim’s family will hold a celebration of life for the slain man on Saturday in Grand Island. Authorities haven’t released additional information.

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