UPDATE: Mom of homicide defendant says he seemed depressed

UPDATED Thursday, August 14, 2014 ---- 7:55 a.m.

WEST BEND, Wis. (AP) -- The mother of a man charged with killing a female friend in Washington County says her son seemed depressed after dropping out of college.

Laura Bartelt testified that she and her husband had no idea that their son, Daniel, was lying about holding a job at a Hustisford engineering company. She says her son would leave the house regularly at 6:30 a.m. and return about 5 p.m.

Investigators looking into the strangulation death of Jessie Blodgett told the Bartelts that Daniel was never employed at the Hustiford company. Laura Bartelt wiped away tears as she testified Wednesday in court that she knew the Blodgett family from Hartford Union High School and that her son had dated Blodgett at one point.

The 20-year-old man is on trial for first-degree intentional homicide.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, September 4, 2013 --- 4:22 p.m.

WEST BEND, Wis. (AP) -- A Hubertus man accused of strangling a 19-year-old woman in Hartford has been found competent to stand trial.

Nineteen-year-old Daniel Bartelt appeared in court Wednesday.

Bartelt is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of musician Jessie Blodgett. Blodgett was found dead July 15 in her parents' home. She arrived home early that morning from a cast party after her performance in "Fiddler on the Roof" and was found dead later that day.

Bartelt also is accused of attacking another woman with a knife in a Richfield park in July.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Bartelt is due back in court Oct. 17 for a preliminary hearing.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, August 2, 2013 --- 8:56 a.m.

From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee:

WASHINGTON COUNTY (WITI) — 19-year-old Daniel Bartelt is an actor, and the lead singer of his own band. His talents can be found all over the internet, and one of those videos showcases an original song, written with his friend, Jessie Blodgett. On Wednesday, July 31st, Bartelt was charged with Blodgett’s murder.

Bartelt is facing a charge of first degree intentional homicide, in connection with Blodgett’s death.

Police say Bartelt is responsible for strangling Blodgett to death on July 15th — a successful murder, after a failed attempt just days earlier.

Bartelt faces additional charges relating to an attack on a woman at the Richfield Historical Nature Park on July 12th.

Bartelt is charged with the following: first-degree recklessly endangering safety, aggravated battery, substantial battery, attempted false imprisonment and disorderly conduct in that case.

The complaint indicates Bartelt came at the woman with a knife in one hand and “tackled her to the ground” and “she thought she was going to die.” After a struggle, the woman was able to disarm Bartelt and get hold of the knife. The complaint says Bartelt then asked, “Can I just go?” and the woman said no. Bartelt apparently then tried to get the knife back — but the woman held onto it. The woman then ran to her car and drove away from the scene.

The complaint says the victim in this case received medical care for her injuries. She suffered multiple cuts to her right hand, which needed a total of 15 stitches. She also had a cut across the palm of her left hand, road rash on her right elbow and right knee.

When questioned by authorities, the criminal complaint says Bartelt went on to describe that on a “spur of the moment decision,” he wanted to “scare” the woman at the Richfield park.

Patrick Konkel is a former cross-country teammate from Hartford Union High School. He says Bartelt was smart, athletic and popular.

“Extremely shocked. Everybody knew him as such a nice kid, so funny, so outgoing, and it’s just unbelievable. He’s got everything, and he just threw it all away with all this,” Konkel said.

Friends and former classmates say they cannot understand disturbing details released in a criminal complaint.

Court documents show Bartelt had a fascination with murder. Just hours before attacking the woman at knife-point in Richfield, police say Bartelt was busy researching serial killers.

Among his searches was Columbian Louis Garavito, known for dismembering his victims, and South African Moses Sithole, known for luring victims to secluded places before raping and killing them.

His last search, just 30 minutes before he went on the attack, the phrase “spree killer,” a term describing “someone who kills two or more victims in a short time.”

Days later, the girl he can be heard singing with, is who prosecutors say he is responsible for killing.

“I said I’m not going to believe it until I actually know for sure because I didn’t expect him to be the one behind this,” Konkel said.

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 31, 2013 --- 4:12 p.m.

From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee:

WASHINGTON CO. (WITI) — 19-year-old Daniel Bartelt of Hubertus was charged on Wednesday, July 31st in connection with the death of Jessie Blodgett.

Bartelt faces four felony counts in all — two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and one count of false imprisonment.

Blodgett, 19, was found dead in her home Monday, July 15th. The young actress had just wrapped up a performance of Fiddler on the Roof. According to a search warrant, Blodgett had gone to a cast party following a Sunday matinée. Her mother remembers her coming home after 1:00 a.m. Monday.

The search warrant said her mother placed clothing in Blodgett’s room around 8 a.m., and discovered her daughter in bed alone. However, the girl’s mother didn’t notice whether she was alive. Blodgett’s mother left for work, and returned after noon. That’s when she discovered her daughter deceased.

No official cause of death has been determined. Police found a ligature mark on Blodgett’s neck, but nothing in her room or home that would make that mark. The Medical Examiner says it could take more than a month, pending toxicology tests.

Bartelt is being held on $750,000 cash bond. The court ordered a competency evaluation for Bartelt and set the next court hearing in his case for Wednesday, September 4th.

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 30, 2013 --- 11:27 a.m.

HARTFORD, Wis. (AP) -- Hartford police say they've made an arrest in the homicide of a 19-year-old woman found dead in her bed earlier this month.

Police say a 19-year-old Hubertus man is in custody on a possible charge of first-degree intentional homicide. They have forwarded the case to the Washington County district attorney.

Court documents say Jessie Blodgett was found in her bed by her mother with ligature marks on her neck July 15. Blodgett's father, Charles, describes his daughter as a "spectacularly beautiful person, deep and soulful."

The man in custody is expected to make an appearance in court Wednesday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 30, 2013 --- 11:12 a.m.

From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee:

WEST BEND (WITI) — The Hartford Police Department has arrested a 19-year-old Hubertus man for first-degree intentional homicide in connection to the death of Jessie Blodgett. The man has not been officially charged.

Charges have been forwarded to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. If charges are issued, police anticipate the suspect will make his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon, July 31st.

19-year-old Jessie Blodgett was found dead in her home Monday, July 15th.

The young actress had just wrapped up a performance of Fiddler on the Roof.

According to a search warrant, Blodgett had gone to a cast party following a Sunday matinée. Her mother remembers her coming home after 1:00 a.m. Monday.

The search warrant says her mother placed clothing in Blodgett’s room around 8:00 a.m., and discovered her daughter in bed alone. However, the girl’s mother didn’t notice whether she was alive.

Blodgett’s mother left for work, and returned after noon. That’s when she discovered her daughter deceased.

Police found a ligature mark on Blodgett’s neck, but nothing in her room or home that would make that mark.

No official cause of death has been determined. The Medical Examiner says it could take more than a month, pending toxicology tests.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Hartford Police Department at 262-673-2600.

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UPDATED Thursday, July 25, 2013 --- 4:54 p.m.

HARTFORD, Wis. (AP) -- The father of a young Hartford woman who was an apparent homicide victim says his daughter was a "spectacularly beautiful person, deep and soulful."

Charles Blodgett says his 19-year-old daughter, Jessie, was "a father's dream." The teen was found dead in her bedroom by her mother July 15. Court documents say police are investigating the death as a homicide. A search warrant says investigators observed a ligature mark on the victim's neck.

Blodgett says Jessie was the fiddler in the Hartford Community performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" and had been at a cast party the night before she died. WISN-TV (http://bit.ly/18BixGq0 ) says police have interviewed at least one person of interest in the case.

Hartford police issued a statement Thursday, asking the community for patience as the investigation continues.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 22, 2013 --- 8:22 p.m.

HARTFORD, Wis. (AP) -- Court documents indicate Hartford police are investigating the death of a 19-year-old woman as a homicide.

Jessie Blodgett was found dead in her bedroom July 15.

WISN-TV reports that according to court documents, Blodgett's parents told police their daughter attended a cast party for a local theater production the night before and returned to her parents' home around 1 a.m.

Documents indicate Blodgett's mother placed clothing in her daughter's bedroom around 8 a.m. When Blodgett's mother returned home from work shortly after noon she discovered her daughter dead in her bed and called 911.

The search warrant shows investigators observed a "ligature mark" on Blodgett's neck but did not find anything in the room or house that could make such a mark.

Police declined to comment Monday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 5:16 p.m.

From our news partner, WITI Milwaukee:

HARTFORD (WITI) — The performances by the Hartford Players of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ on Friday, July 19th and Saturday, July 20th will proceed at the request of the parents of Jessie Blodgett.

Blodgett was found dead Monday, July 15th at a home on Wayside Dr. She was part of the production with the Hartford Players. A matinee at the Schauer Arts Center in Hartford on Sunday, July 14th was her last performance.

This coming weekend’s performances of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ will be dedicated to Blodgett. The audience will also be invited to join with the Hartford Players in contributing gifts in Blodgett’s memory to two charities.

In the meantime, no additional details about Blodgett’s death have been released and the incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hartford Police Department at 262-673-2600 or the Washington County Law Enforcement Tip Project at 800-232-0594.

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Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2013--- 8:11p.m.

HARTFORD, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are investigating the death of a 19-year-old woman in Hartford.

Jessie Blodgett was found dead inside her family's home Monday afternoon. Her mother had returned to the house during her lunch break and found the teen dead in her bed.

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday, but the Washington County medical examiner says the cause and manner of Blodgett's death remain undetermined. Test results are pending.

WTMJ-TV reports Blodgett was a 2012 graduate of Hartford Union High School and was going to be a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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