BOZEMAN, Mont. — The man accused killing his wife on New Year’s reportedly told law enforcement that he killed her when he hit her with a cast iron frying pan in the head during a drunken fit of rage.
Another charging document states that Jake William Collins, 32, also cut Crystal Rianna Collins’, 32, throat, according to KBZK TV.
The murder allegedly happened while the couple’s three children, along with two other neighborhood children, slept in the home’s living room.
Crystal’s mother called law enforcement to report her daughter had been missing on Monday, Jan. 2, at 8:42 a.m. She was reportedly last seen between 3 – 4 am on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 when Jake told Gallatin County Sheriff deputies she walked away from her residence in the Mountain View Trailer Park at 8628 Huffine Lane, just west of Bozeman.
Jake told a deputy that he and Crystal had gone to a New Year’s Party in Four Corners around 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2016, and left the party intoxicated in separate vehicles. Jake and his brother-in-law went to pick up his daughter who was babysitting, when Crystal reportedly passed them on the roadway, losing control of her vehicle and slid off the road. The men continued on the way to pick up the girl, then returned to pick up Crystal.
Jake then followed the brother-in-law and Crystal in the vehicle that had slid off the road.
Jake told investigators that he and Crystal then had a physical dispute once back at their home which resulted in Crystal leaving the residence on foot. He reported he hadn’t seen or heard from Crystal since 4 a.m.
When investigators came to the home later Monday, they learned that Jake had taken the couple’s children to Butte to Crystal’s mother’s home.
Investigators then interviewed neighbors and children who had stayed the night for a sleep over at the victim’s home.
At approximately 5 p.m. Jake met with investigators at the Law and Justice Center and agreed to answer questions about his missing wife.
He told investigators that he and Crystal had a physical altercation that took place in the couple’s bedroom after they arrived home from the New Year’s party.
Investigators told Jake that his statement was inconsistent and incorrect and asked him to recount what had happened.
Jake then reportedly said that he had punched Crystal several times and then admitted that he killed her in their bedroom. He said he struck Crystal in the head with a large cast iron frying pan while she was on the bed. He provided additional details, including that he cleaned up the crime scene and attempted to dispose of Crystal’s body.
Jake provided law enforcement the location of his wife’s body, which a detective located soon after.
At approximately 8 p.m. Jake was placed under arrest for deliberate homicide.
Sara Ganim and Eric Levenson, CNN
Dylan Byers, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN