Crime Wisconsin Sheriff Calls Quadruple Homicide Case a 'Mystery': 'Everybody's a Suspect'
Florida gunman killed 4, including mom still holding baby
Four people are dead including a mother still cradling her now-deceased baby in what a Florida sheriff called a massive gunfight early Sunday with a suspect “ready for battle" and so aggressive he tried to wrestle a gun from police from his hospital gurney after being captured. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the unidentified suspect was dressed in full body armor — including a bulletproof vest — when he was found outside a Lakeland home that had been “booby-trapped.” He did not explain in detail except to say that glass lights were lining the driveway.
The motive behind a quadruple homicide in rural Wisconsin is a "mystery," according to authorities, who are still looking for suspects in the case.
Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd provided an update on the investigation in a press conference on Tuesday.
Bygd told reporters that four victims were found by a farmer in the town of Sheridan shortly after 2 p.m. on Sunday. The victims were left in an SUV that was abandoned roughly 50 yards into a standing cornfield.
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The victims have been identified as Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, 30; Matthew Isiah Pettus, 26; Loyace Foreman III, 35; and Jasmine Christine Sturm, 30. Two of the victims were brother and sister and the other two allegedly had been dating. They were all from the Twin Cities area, authorities said.
Autopsies were performed on all four victims on Monday by Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office. The preliminary examination showed that all the individuals died from gunshot wounds, authorities said.
Bygd told reporters Tuesday that investigators believe the victims were "randomly brought" to the cornfield, and that they had been killed less than 24 hours before their bodies were discovered.
"We believe that the suspect or suspects in this case left the area after abandoning the SUV in the cornfield," he said. "That's why we no longer feel that there is a concern for local residents' safety."
Man Caught Carrying Teen's Body in Bloodstained Luggage
The accused fled the scene but was later caught after stealing four apples, apparently left by locals as offerings to the God of Fortune. Local media has identified the victim as an unnamed 19-year-old woman, a former colleague of Xie at a local KTV bar. Shaanxi native Xie reportedly used to be a manager at the venue before he left last month. Police have refused to speculate as to Xie's motive for allegedly murdering the teenager as the investigation continues. The victim's father, also unnamed, said she was the eldest child of the family, who had been in contact with them in the days immediately prior to her death.
Authorities said they don't believe the suspect or suspects are local residents, but Bygd emphasized that "everybody's a suspect at this point."
"We're looking at everybody and every possibility," he said.
When asked about a possible motive behind the slayings, the sheriff responded: "That one's a mystery."
It's unclear whether organized criminal activity or drugs may have been involved in the incident, the sheriff said, though it didn't appear that drugs were a motive for the crime.
Authorities said a second dark-colored SUV may have been involved in the incident. If anyone has information related to the case, they're asked to contact law enforcement at 715-232-1348.
Newsweek reached out to the Dunn County Sheriff's Office for additional information but didn't receive a response before publication.
The sheriff's office is being assisted by the Dunn County Medical Examiner's Office, the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Wisconsincrime lab.
Four Bodies Found in Abandoned SUV, Homicide Investigation Underway
The victims were found in a vehicle that had been driven into a standing corn field off a rural road in western Wisconsin.In a news release on Monday, the Dunn County Sheriff's Office said the Dunn County Emergency Communications Center had received a 911 call reporting a death in the town of Sheridan, located in northern Dunn County, at around 2.20 p.m. on Sunday.
Bygd said Tuesday that a quadruple homicide is "highly unusual for this area."
"Obviously, we've had homicides in the last several years. But something of this magnitude, I've been here for, I'm working on my 33rd year working for Dunn County, and this is a first."
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Homicides have skyrocketed across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Milwaukee has seen one of the largest spikes.Hughes died in the yard and was taken to the morgue and then to El Bethel Church of God in Christ, where days later he lay in an open, emerald-green casket as muffled cries rose through a hymn on a loudspeaker. He was 24 and had his mother's name — Gwen — tattooed on his left hand.