The case of

Ryan Thomas Waller & Heather Marie Quan

Victim

Ryan Thomas Waller & Heather Marie Quan

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth

February 12, 1988 & April 10, 1985

Victim Age
Date Reported

2006-12-25

Date of Death

January 26, 2016 & December 25, 2006

Case Status

Closed

Incident Location

Maricopa County, Arizona, USA

Body Location

Maricopa County, Arizona, USA

Date of Conviction

June 2008 & December 14, 2012

Body Discovered Date

2006-12-26

Murderer

Richie Lee Carver, Larry Lloyd Carver

Who was Ryan Waller and Heather Quan?

Information on Ryan Thomas Waller’s background is limited. He was born on February 12, 1988, in Maricopa County, Arizona and this is where he grew up. His dad was called Don Waller but the identity of his mom isn’t public knowledge. Ryan Waller was a talented guitar player and he loved music. In fact, he had dreams of joining a band, and he believed that he could become world-famous.

There’s slightly more information available on Heather Marie Quan. She was born on April 10, 1985, to her parents, Robert Quan and Terry DenDulk. Heather also had a brother called Andrew. Heather attended Mountain Ridge High School and graduated in 2003. After this, she went to Glendale Community College and she was a student at ASU and planned to study law. People who knew Heather described her as empathetic and caring, with a zest for life and a strong-willed personality.

On December 25, 2006, 18-year-old Ryan Waller and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Heather were hanging out at the rented home they shared before heading to Ryan’s parents for Christmas dinner. Ryan heard some noises by their sliding doors and went to investigate. This is where the tragic events that led to Heather’s murder and Ryan’s attempted murder begin.

Victim Was Found Dead/Start of The Crime

Ryan Waller was due to have Christmas dinner with his family at around 6 pm on Christmas Day. However, Ryan didn’t show up, so his father called him to see if he was running late. There was no answer, so the family sat down to dinner, hoping Ryan and Heather would show up at some point. However, the pair still hadn’t arrived when dinner was over so Don called his son’s cell again but all he got was Ryan’s voicemail. Ryan’s parents decided to head over to the home Ryan Waller and Heather shared.

When they got to the house at around 7 pm, they knocked on the door, but there was no answer. Don Waller called Phoenix police and requested a welfare check on his son and his girlfriend. But because it wasn’t a priority, police didn’t arrive at Ryan Waller’s home until around midnight that night. The officer who arrived on the scene was also met with no answer and when he looked through the window, he thought he saw a body in there. However, he didn’t enter the home and waited for a search warrant for around an hour.

When they eventually entered the home, they found Heather dead on the couch but Ryan Waller was still alive, despite being shot in the head twice. Police officers noticed Ryan’s black eye and thought they’d walked into a domestic violence incident, with a fight between the pair having broken out, Heather punching Ryan in the eye, and Ryan shooting her in retaliation.

The Crime Description

When Ryan Waller made his way to the sliding doors, he was confronted by two men. Both men were armed, and they forced their way inside the house. As Ryan tried to stop them from entering, one of the men shot Ryan in the eye and Ryan fell to the floor. He tried to get to his feet to warn Heather, but he was shot again in the head.

Heather was still on the couch, and before she could even react to what was happening, one of the men shot her in the head and killed her instantly.

The men then stole items from the home, including Ryan Waller’s guitar collection and a computer. Even though the witnesses had been killed, or so they thought, the men left as quickly as they had entered.

Ryan Waller was still alive. He managed to survive two gunshot wounds to the head, but he wasn’t able to call 911 for help.

Suspect or Convicted Killer Details

Richie Lee Carver is the son of Larry Lloyd Carver. Both men were involved in the murder of Heather Marie Quan and the attempted murder of Ryan Thomas Waller.

Richie Carver lived in the house that Ryan Waller and Heather lived in when they were killed. Richie shared the home with his housemate, Eric, but the pair got into an altercation where Eric pulled a gun on Richie, and this caused him to move out. Ryan moved in to take Richie’s place and when Eric moved out, Heather moved in. This is the only link between Ryan and Richie. It’s been reported that Richie would go around the house, looking for post, and about a month before the murder, Ryan caught Richie in the yard looking for his “pet iguana”. It’s now believed that he was actually scoping out the area for the planned attack.

Richie did have a history of crime. At school, he was a violent troublemaker, and he did have criminal records for assault, aggravated assault against Larry, and armed robbery in 2000, where he stabbed a guy and robbed him. He served four years for this, but in prison, he was reprimanded for possession of contraband. It was found that he had a shank. Richie was released in 2005.

Before his release, a prison psychologist evaluated Richie and said that it was highly likely that he would re-offend because he had no conscience. He lacked compassion or care for fellow humans, and he only cared about himself. In the time between his release in 2005 and the murder in 2006, Richie was also charged with some domestic violence disputes.

Larry Carver also had a criminal record for assault and assaulting a police officer.

The motive behind the attack was mainly theft. Richie knew that Ryan Waller had a guitar collection and a computer, and Richie wanted them either to keep or to sell. He and his dad decided to break in on Christmas Day as it was unlikely that anyone would be at home.

Investigation Details

The crime scene led investigators to believe Ryan Waller was the suspect, and they put him in the back of a police car. No medical attention was sought for his injuries. Police didn’t even realize that he had two bullets in his head; they assumed he’d been punched. However, as part of the crime scene investigation, medical personnel were called to look at Heather.

Ryan Waller was left in the back of the police car for around four hours while the crime scene was examined. After this, he was taken to the police station, where 43 photos of his injuries were taken, and then Detective Paul Dalton began questioning Ryan.

This interrogation is why this case has become infamous. Ryan Waller was questioned, in handcuffs, for around an hour by Detective Dalton. The interrogation can be found on the internet, and some of the details have to be seen to be fully understood, but in this footage, Ryan is obviously in distress. He’s quite fidgety, he moans a lot, and when Detective Dalton asks him a question, Ryan responds with nonsensical answers.

For example, when asked how old Heather is, Ryan says she’s 16 or 17 (she’s 21) and tells police her last name is Kymon. Ryan’s speech is also slightly slowed. On a podcast about this case, his speech is described as sounding as though he’s just woken up. Several times throughout the interview, Ryan keeps saying how tired he is and how much he wants to go to sleep.

Eventually, Ryan explained what had really happened when he and Heather were shot. He tells Detective Dalton that Richie and his dad came over, and they were shooting with “arrows and blow darts,” and they hit Ryan and Heather with them. He said Richie and his dad tried to break in around the back, and he explains that Richie used to live at the house Ryan now shared with Heather.

Detective Dalton further presses Ryan and he then says that Richie and his dad both had two revolvers but they didn’t leave any shells. When Ryan says that he was shot in the eye, Dalton doesn’t believe him and says that if that had happened, Ryan wouldn’t be talking to him because he’d most likely be dead.

Finally, around six hours after Ryan had been put into the police car, Detective Dalton finally realized that something was wrong with Ryan. Dalton called a medic from the firehouse to come and check out Ryan, and his handcuffs were released. As soon as the medic looked at Ryan, it was clear that he’d been shot, and they took him to the hospital immediately.

At the hospital, the severity of Ryan Waller’s injuries were realized. Hospital staff knew they had to operate but they couldn’t as Ryan’s face was swollen and an infection had set in at one of the bullet sites. On December 28, the operation finally took place and it was discovered that Ryan had a skull fracture, a blowout in his left eye socket, which was broken into six pieces and they’d made their way to his brain, a broken jaw, and he eventually lost his left eye as a result of his injury. Ryan also had a severe brain injury due to delayed medical treatment, and he spent 35 days in the hospital.

When he was released from the hospital, another detective spoke to Ryan Waller because Detective Dalton wasn’t working the case anymore. The Phoenix Police Department eventually found Richie and Larry, and they were arrested for the crimes Ryan Waller had accused them of in his interrogation.

After the pair had been arrested, Richie’s mom and Larry’s wife, Cheryl, called the police and asked to speak to them. Cheryl provided a statement that incriminated Larry in Heather’s murder.

Trial

Richie Carver was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, and weapons misconduct. His trial lasted for several months.

Larry Carver was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, burglary, and aggravated assault. During Larry’s trial, Cheryl refused to testify against him, claiming she didn’t remember making the statement. She could do this through marital privilege, and because of this, the case against Larry was dropped.

Heather’s family fought for justice and they were able to pass a law called Heather’s Law and which provided an exception to marital privilege in cases where a statement has already been made. This law was passed in Arizona in 2009 and Larry was once again arrested and charged with his original crimes.

Verdict

Richie Lee Carver was sentenced to a term of natural life, which means he’ll die in prison, in June 2008.

Larry Lloyd Carver was convicted on December 14, 2012, and sentenced to life in prison.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to Ryan Waller?

As a result of his injuries, Ryan suffered seizures for the rest of his life and he was unable to live an independent life. He died on January 20, 2016 from a fatal seizure, 10 years after the attack.

Did Detective Paul Dalton face consequences for failing Ryan Waller?

Detective Dalton was questioned following the Ryan Waller case and he consistently lied throughout. It’s not thought that he faced any consequences for not seeking medical attention for Ryan and Detective Dalton is now retired.

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