Rural Bixby shooting death remains under investigation

Tuesday, July 22nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

New information about a Bixby woman found shot to death outside her home early Tuesday morning. Cheryl Wendlandt's home was burned to the ground and she was found about a thousand feet away.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright tells us Wendlandt's husband was the first to be questioned, given the couple's history of violence.

A man driving by a Bixby farmhouse in the 10700 Block of East 141st Street South, noticed it was on fire and frantically knocked on the door to see if anyone was inside asleep, the only person he woke up was Kelly Wendlandt, who was living in a trailer just in front of the house.

While firefighters put out the fire, they found Kelly's wife, Cheryl about a thousand yards away; she'd been shot in the head. Deputies were immediately suspicious because they've been to this home many times before.

Tulsa County Sheriff Sgt Phil Cervantes, "There is a domestic history at this residence with the residents and the neighbors and that will be looked into also."

Court records show the Wendlandt's had a domestic abuse claim in 1989 that was later dismissed, there was another one filed in 1991 that was also dismissed. Also, two of their neighbors filed for protective orders against the couple in 1996, saying the Wendlandt’s attacked them and destroyed some of their property.

One neighbor won a $20,000 settlement, which forced the Wendlandt cars to be sold at public auction.

We came to the warehouse for courthouse records and learned more about the couple's violent history. We found she filed a protective order against her husband in 1994 where she said he kicked me, choked me, threatened to kill me and threw me half way out of a window, and shot a bow and arrow at me and narrowly missed. We learned she filed another protective order in 2002, but later dismissed it. Investigators say the couple was having money troubles and in fear of being foreclosed on their land and home.

A witness saw them arguing in the driveway, some 12 hours before she was found dead. Investigators questioned Kelly Wendlandt for some time Tuesday, but released him without making an arrest.

I talked to a captain at the Sheriff's office who told me, they have not yet ruled out that his wife's gunshot wound could've been self-inflicted.

Part of the reason for that is because there were items in her truck, like a photo album, that might indicate she took it out of the house to save it, before setting the fire. So, this investigation isn't over yet.