Carlile widow speaks out, confident James Henrikson contracted hit



Posted on January 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 4:43 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The widow of South Hill murder victim Doug Carlile recognized suspect Timothy Suckow as the gunman and said she was confident he was hired by a Carlile’s business partner, James Henrikson.

Elberta Carlile said she was relieved to hear Henrikson was arrested Saturday on a weapons charge, but said she knew the investigation was not over.

She said from the moment she walked through their door the night of the murder she knew something was wrong. She said their hide-a-key was out of place. Looking back, she said that detail cemented her belief that the man behind this murder was someone familiar with the family.

She said the person responsible could only be Henrikson.Hours before Doug Carlile was murder his widow said his last days of life were filled with terror.

"I said to him, you must have slept good last night because he was still in bed and normally he's up before me. And he said, ‘Actually I just came back to bed.'" Elberta said. " I said, 'Why?' He said, ‘Because I heard strange noises last night and I sat up from about 1 a.m. with my gun,’"

WATCH: Authorities arrest Douglas Carlile's business partner in North Dakota

She said Henrikson had made threats in the days and weeks leading up to her husband's murder.

When asked why the family never notified police she said, "We didn't really believe it. I didn't believe it was real life.”

Elberta Carlile said she did not want to become consumed with thoughts of what she could have done differently, such as reporting the threats. She said she planned to focus on honoring her husband and defending his name instead.

Henrikson also accused Carlile of owing him $1.88 million, according to court documents. His widow said those claims were not true.

"I don't believe that. It's not true. I know it's not true," she said.

Elberta said she believes her husband was executed so Henrikson could swoop in on their share of their oil business.

"He wanted us out of that oil lease. He wanted to take over and we weren't going to do it," she said.

Detectives believe Henrikson hired Timothy Suckow to kill his business associate Doug Carlile in December according to lead investigators.

Suckow was arrested and charged with First Degree Murder. Days later, FBI agents raided the North Dakota home of James Henrikson. He was later arrested for the charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

She said she recognized Suckow as the gunman instantly at his first court appearance.

"He blinked his eyes and then opened them wide just as he did when he looked at me,” she said. “Those are the exact same eyes.”

Elberta Carlile said she was confident Henrikson was involved with planning the murder. She said she believes Henrikson told Suckow where the family’s hide-a-key was to help  him get inside the home.