OGDEN — Mindee Elmore and Clyde Conley “were very, very much in love,” a relative says, and making plans to celebrate Easter.
But Elmore’s life ended Saturday afternoon, shot and killed by an ex-boyfriend who later fatally shot himself after a standoff with police. Then Conley died on Easter Sunday after overdosing on pills, distraught over the death of Elmore, according to his brother, Billy Conley.
Loved ones of Elmore said the 41-year-old woman was happy, outgoing and did anything and everything for her two children, her sisters and their parents.
“Mindee was a very loving, caring mother and loved her children and family,” said Sharri Ann Rodriguez, Elmore’s niece. “She always knew how to make jokes and laugh, and her smile was really contagious.”
Clyde Conley, 42, was intelligent, enjoyed stargazing and loved working on his car, a 2017 Honda Civic. In Mindee Elmore, Billy Conley said, his brother had found an ideal partner. “They were a very happy couple. ... They clicked,” Billy Conley said.
Now, Elmore‘s and Conley‘s families are left reeling after their tragic, sudden losses, trying to make sense where there seems to be none. Viewings for both are scheduled for Friday, according to their obituaries on the website of Myers Mortuary and Cremation Services, which is handling the proceedings. “It’s not easy,” Billy Conley said.
Indeed, Easter was Elmore’s favorite holiday, Rodriguez said. “She told Clyde she was going to run to the store to grab some last-minute things for Easter,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what she was doing there.”
Ogden police said Seth Gibson shot Elmore in the parking lot of Smith’s grocery store, 1485 Harrison Blvd., at 1:15 p.m. last Saturday. At about 6:40 p.m. after a standoff with a SWAT team several miles away, Gibson shot himself. He died Tuesday in a hospital.
Clyde Conley, at his brother’s house early Saturday afternoon, learned something was amiss after receiving a cryptic, ominous message from Gibson. “He said, ‘I got to go find her,’” Billy Conley said.
Clyde Conley soon learned that his girlfriend had been killed, and he conveyed the news to his brother. “I guess (Gibson) had been stalking (Elmore) and he finally found that she was alone,” Billy Conley said.
From what Billy Conley’s been able to piece together, Gibson and Elmore had an argument in the parking lot of Smith’s and then Gibson shot and killed her, in an ambush of sorts. The area where the incident occurred was cordoned off with yellow police tape for several hours afterward. “That’s what my brother said. He said (Gibson) ambushed her,” Billy Conley said.
Elmore had broken up with Gibson about a year ago, Rodriguez said, and she suspects Saturday’s act stemmed from jealousy. “He didn’t want her to be happy,” she said.
At any rate, Conley subsequently told Rodriguez and Lesa Martinez, one of Elmore’s sisters, that he felt he had failed Mindee by not keeping her safe. “He felt really bad, like he should have been there for Mindee,” Rodriguez said, adding that they were “very, very much in love.”
Conley eventually went home and, despite the trauma and tragedy, Billy Conley said his brother seemed to be managing. Starting late Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday morning, though, he posted numerous messages on his Facebook page underscoring the pain and anguish he was feeling over the turn of events, his brother said.
“I failed you, my love. I know you’re with your mom now, but you should be here with me, your dad and your kids. I should’ve been there. You will never be replaced in my heart,” Clyde Conley said in one message. He went on: “Anyone who reads this, please hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love them. Tomorrow isn’t promised and today has no guarantee.”
At the time, Billy Conley didn’t see the messages. Had he seen them, he would have intervened. “It was just so late at night,” his brother said. “If I had seen any of the messages, I would have been at his house, kicking his ass.”
Ultimately, family members, worried about Clyde Conley, checked on him Sunday morning, after he had passed. Billy Conley said his brother overdosed on unspecified pills. “That was a complete shock,” Billy Conley said.
‘SHE WAS HIS ROCK’Now, family and friends are remembering Elmore and Conley with fondness and tears, unbelieving and stunned at Saturday’s horrific turn of events. “This wasn’t fair,” Martinez said.
Elmore worked as a waitress at Andy’s Club on Washington Boulevard. She loved her co-workers and customers, Rodriguez said.
The club posted a social media tribute, which read in part, “Her infectious laugh and magnetic smile easily made her a customer favorite. She was so much more than a coworker, she was a loyal friend who will be forever missed but never forgotten.”
For Elmore, family was huge. She loved her mother, who preceded her daughter in death, and she was very close to her father.
“And her nieces and nephews — she would do anything for them. She took care of them,” said Martinez. “And like aunts will do, she would secretly let them do things that their parents wouldn’t let them do.”
If there’s any consolation for Martinez, it’s that Elmore — her “best friend and just a great sister” — has achieved a semblance of peace. “She’s just happy now with her mom, where she needs to be,” Martinez said. “She is safe.”
Elmore loved to hike. Oregon was her favorite destination and purple was her favorite color. She loved motorcycle and snowmobile rides.
Conley — who leaves behind four kids, among other relatives, according to his obituary — was an Ogden native who worked as an electrical engineer for T.D. Williamson in Salt Lake City, a firm that serves the oil and gas industry. “He tested pipes for the oil rigs, for the pipelines,” Billy Conley said.
He had been separated from his wife, Billy Conley said, and found a kindred spirit in Elmore. They had actually met years earlier in the mid-1990s, cruising Washington Boulevard in Ogden, though it took some 25 years for them to connect as boyfriend and girlfriend. “She kind of helped him through the rough times he was going through. She was his rock,” Billy Conley said.
Likewise, Martinez called Clyde Conley the love of Elmore’s life. “She never felt so in love,” Martinez said.
Elmore and Clyde Conley enjoyed late night drives in the Ogden Canyon, going out to eat, and Rodriguez, Elmore’s niece, also saw the strong connection. Conley “was a really sweet guy,” Rodriguez said. “There was a good vibe coming from him. I was so proud of my aunt and she was so happy.”
Billy Conley said his older brother loved astronomy and the outdoors. “He knew all the planets. He knew the constellations,” he said.
Likewise, he was fascinated with the notion of Bigfoot, the mythical creature of the forest, and enjoyed the outdoors. “He loved nature. He was always going on drives to the mountains and taking pictures of the trees, animals and stars and he was determined to catch Bigfoot one day,” reads a GoFundMe page set up by Billy Conley to raise funds to help cover his brother’s funeral expenses.
Elmore’s family also has a GoFundMe page for memorial expenses.
No further information was available about Gibson. Ogden police have not released information about the deaths, citing an ongoing investigation.
Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic or intimate partner violence is available around the clock from the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or udvc.org.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, also open 24 hours, is at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).