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UPDATE: Wis. man gets life commitment in triple slaying

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UPDATED Friday, January 31, 2014 --- 1:21 p.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A Waukesha man convicted of beating three people to death in a western Wisconsin farmhouse will spend the rest of his life in a mental institution.

A Wisconsin State Journal report says 31-year-old Jaren Kuester sat stoically through testimony Friday from the victim's relatives.

Before sentencing Kuester apologized for the slayings and said he'd lost touch with reality. He says he was confused and that he never imagined anything like this happening.

Prosecutors say he broke into the rural farmhouse in April and killed the victims with a fireplace poker.

Lafayette County prosecutor Kate Findley says the killings were among the most vicious crimes ever committed in the county. She asked the judge to sentence Kuester to three consecutive life commitments.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, January 31, 2014 --- 10:26 a.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A man whose parents and uncle were beaten to death in a western Wisconsin farmhouse last year says he's haunted by their deaths, and he's not sure the killer's lifetime commitment in a mental hospital will bring the family closure.

Gary, Chloe and Dean Thoreson were killed in April. Jaren Kuester of Waukesha pleaded guilty to the deaths, and is expected to be sentenced Friday to life in a mental institution.

Bryan Thoreson tells the Wisconsin State Journal the loss of his parents and uncle leaves an emptiness that won't go away.

The victims' relatives say they're doing their best to hold on to the good memories, but it's hard when photographs and mementoes just remind them of what they lost.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 4, 2013 --- 5:13 p.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A Waukesha man has pleaded guilty in the deaths of three retired farmers in southern Wisconsin.

Thirty-one-year-old Jaren Kuester entered his plea Wednesday after a judge found him competent to stand trial.

Kuester told Judge William Foust that he understood he was waiving his right to trial with the pleas to three counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Foust accepted the pleas and ordered a hearing on Jan. 31 to determine whether Kuester was insane at the time of the killings in April.

Gary and Chloe Thoreson and Gary Thoreson's brother, Dean Thoreson, were beaten to death on a farm near Wiota.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 4, 2013 --- 4:24 p.m.

A Wisconsin man arrested in the deaths of three retired farmers has been found competent to stand trial, and has pleaded guilty to three charges of first degree intentional homicide.

Jaren Kuester appeared in Lafayette Co. court today.

The Waukesha man is charged in the April deaths of Gary and Chloe Thoreson on their farm near Wiota and in the death of Gary Thoreson's brother, Dean.

Kuester will be back in court January 31st.

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UPDATED Thursday, October 31, 2013 --- 4:46 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin man arrested in the deaths of three retired farmers has been sent to a mental institution after a judge found he wasn't competent to stand trial.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports 31-year-old Jaren Kuester was committed Thursday to Mendota Mental Health Institute.

The Waukesha man has been charged in the April deaths of Gary and Chloe Thoreson on their farm near Wiota and in the death of Gary Thoreson's brother, Dean.

Kuester's attorney Guy Taylor says he's surprised his client was found incompetent and he expects the commitment to be temporary because Kuester's mental health has been improving with new medication.

Kuester's parents said previously that they had tried to get help for their son because he was delusional and they feared he would hurt someone.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Saturday, September 28, 2013 --- 8:16 p.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A 31-year-old man accused of killing three people in Lafayette County will be examined to determine if he's competent to stand trial.

Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust ordered Jaren Kuester to be re-examined Friday after he wouldn't answer questions about whether he understood the court proceedings.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/15BxeXd ) before the hearing, prosecutors and the defense attorneys reached an agreement that may have led to him being committed to a mental institution for the rest of his life.

Kuester faces five felonies, including three counts of first-degree intentional homicide, in the deaths of Gary and Chloe Thoreson and Gary Thoreson's brother, Dean Thoreson on April 27.

Kuester was found competent to stand trial during a July 1 hearing. Another competency hearing is set for Oct. 15.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED: July 1, 2013 --- 6:23 p.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A Waukesha man accused of killing three retired Wiota farmers is changing his plea to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/14KzwTF ) 31-year-old Jaren Kuester changed his plea Monday after a judge ruled he was mentally competent to stand trial. A trial has been tentatively set for October.

Kuester faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Police say he used a fireplace poker to kill 70-year-old Gary Thoreson; his wife, 66-year-old Chloe Thoreson; and his brother, 76-year-old Dean Thoreson in April.

An insanity defense will deal with Kuester's state of mind at the time of the alleged killings.

Kuester's father, Jim Kuester, says that before the killings, he told Waukesha County authorities his son was dangerous and needed hospitalization.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Monday, June 1, 2013 --- 3:44 p.m.

The defense for Jaren Kuester, the man accused in a triple murder in Lafayette Co., has entered a plea of not guilty due to insanity.

Kuester appeared in court today for a competency hearing.

Kuester is accused in the death of 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his wife, 66-year-old Chloe Thoreson and his brother, 76-year-old Dean Thoreson. The three were found dead inside a home in rural South Wayne.
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UPDATED Monday, June 1, 2013 --- 9:20 a.m.

From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee:

WAUKESHA COUNTY (WITI) — 31-year-old Jaren Kuester, the man accused in a Lafayette County triple homicide, is due in court Monday, July 1st for a competency hearing. Kuester pleaded not guilty to three counts of first degree intentional homicide on Monday, June 3rd.

Kuester faces the following charges: three counts of first degree intentional homicide, burglary of a building or dwelling and operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Kuester is accused in the death of 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his wife, 66-year-old Chloe Thoreson and his brother, 76-year-old Dean Thoreson. The three were found dead inside a home in rural South Wayne, Wisconsin.

he criminal complaint indicates officers first arrived at the scene when a neighbor called to report a suspicious vehicle near the Thoreson home. Near the vehicle, neighbors also found a jail bracelet belonging to Kuester. Police were able to confirm the vehicle in question belonged to Kuester.

Later, officials received a 911 call from an Everett Thoreson, who had called to report a deceased person inside the Thoreson home in the Town of Wiota in Lafayette County.

When police entered the home, the criminal complaint indicates they discovered the bodies of Gary and Chloe Thoreson in a downstairs basement bathroom. A third body, identified as Dean Thoreson was found on the main floor of the home at the top of the steps leading from to the main floor of the home, from the basement level.

The criminal complaint in the case indicates police spoke with Dean Thoreson’s wife, Rose, who said Dean would check on Gary and Chloe’s home when they were out-of-town. Rose said she became concerned when Dean did not return home — and eventually reported him as missing.

Later, the criminal complaint indicates Rose spoke with Everett Thoreson, Gary and Chloe about Dean being missing. Gary and Chloe had apparently just returned from a trip, and were at Everett’s home. The criminal complaint in the case says Gary and Chloe indicated they were going to go home and get their ATVs, to see if they could locate Dean.

Kuester was discovered at the Willow Park Apartment complex on Delafield Street in Waukesha on April 28th.

The criminal complaint indicates Kuester had several small cuts and what appeared to be dried blood on the bottoms and sides of his feet.

Officials discovered a truck, registered to the “Thoreson brothers,” via the Wisconsin DOT. Rose Thoreson, Dean’s wife, reported he had been driving the F150 truck prior to his disappearance.

The criminal complaint indicates police spoke with Kuester’s father, who said Kuester was being treated for mental health issues, and was just bailed out of jail by his employer on April 26th.

That employer, James Kuester, reportedly gave Jaren a ride to pick up his vehicle. The criminal complaint says later, Jaren showed up at James Kuester’s home, in a confused state — saying he had hurt three people.

A short time later, Jaren Kuester was arrested by Waukesha police.

When interviewed by police, the criminal complaint indicates Jaren told them “his life was crashing and burning.” He said he got in his vehicle and just started driving — and had abandoned his car and took off his clothing as he believed he was being followed.

Then, the criminal complaint indicates Kuester told officials he ran through the woods, before arriving at the Thoreson home. Kuester told officials he broke into the home because he was cold and did not believe anyone was home. Inside the home, the complaint indicates Kuester got food and clothing — before searching the house for valuables.

Later, the criminal complaint indicates Kuester told police a man entered the home, and Kuester met him at the top of the stairs, where he killed him with a fireplace poker. This man was later identified as Dean Thoreson.

The complaint indicates Kuester told police he then heard a man and a women enter the home (Gary and Chloe Thoreson). Kuester told police he killed both of them with a fireplace poker and then stabbed the woman. Kuester told police the man hit him before he was killed — according to the complaint.

The complaint says Kuester removed money from the man’s wallet, drove their car into the garage and shut the door — before deciding he needed to leave the home. He then decided to take the F150 — and ended up at his father’s house. It was there that he was arrested.

The complaint says a doctor reported Dean and Gary Thoreson died of multiple blunt force injuries to the neck and head — while Chloe Thoreson died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head and neck, and multiple stab wounds.

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UPDATED Monday, June 3, 2013--4:20p.m.

LAFAYETTE COUNTY--It was an eventful day at the Lafayette County Courthouse: Jaren Kuester had his arraignment Monday morning. The judge asked for his plea, and that's when things got interesting. As Kuester's attorney was trying to say "the defense stands mute," Kuester hopped out of his chair and announced that he'd like to plead guilty. The judge eventually suggested that Guy Taylor, Kuester's attorney, have a conference with Kuester. The two spoke and ultimately the defense stood mute, which means the judge then entered not guilty pleas on Kuester's behalf.

We spoke with Taylor about Kuester's outburst. "My client's not comfortable where he is and so he's anxious to move on," said Taylor.

At this point we don't yet know when Kuester's next court appearance will be.
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UPDATED Monday, June 3, 2013 --- 11:05 a.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has entered not guilty pleas on behalf of a man accused of killing three family members in Lafayette County.

Online court records indicate Jaren Kuester stood mute during his arraignment Monday on five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide. Judge William Johnston entered not guilty pleas on all the counts for him.

The records also show Kuester's attorney, Guy Taylor, filed a motion to move the trial out of Lafayette County on Monday. Taylor didn't immediately return a message.

Prosecutors say Kuester drove from Waukesha to Green County April 26, abandoned his SUV, stripped off his clothes and ran through the woods. He broke into Gary and Chloe Thoresons' farmhouse and killed them as well as Gary Thoreson's brother, Dean Thoreson.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, June 3, 2013 --- 10:32 a.m.

The man accused of killing three members of a family in Lafayette County appeared in court for arraignment today.

NBC15's Rachelle Baillon was in the court room for the hearing. She reports that as Jaren Kuester's attorney stood to enter a plea, Kuester himself stood up.

In an outburst, Kuester said he wanted to plead guilty. Kuester and his attorney then spoke, and his attorney said they would stand mute on the charges.

The judge entered not guilty please on Kuester's behalf.

The next court date in this case is unknown at this time.

Kuester is accused of killing Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe Thoreson and brother, Dean Thoreson in April at the couple's farmhouse in the small town of Wiota.

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UPDATED Monday, June 3, 2013 --- 10:07 a.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- The man accused of killing three members of a family in Lafayette County is scheduled for arraignment.

Jaren Kuester is expected in court Monday on five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide. He's accused of killing Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe Thoreson and brother, Dean Thoreson in April at the couple's farmhouse in the small town of Wiota.

Kuester's attorney, Guy Taylor, earlier said the 31-year-old defendant is competent for trial, but unable to distinguish reality from delusions about what happened the day the Thoresons were slain.

Prosecutors say Kuester drove from Waukesha to Green County April 26, abandoned his SUV, stripped off his clothes and ran through the woods. He emerged from the woods in Lafayette County where he broke into the Thoresons' home.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 15, 2013 --- 8:22 p.m.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- The Waukesha Police Department has found that officers acted appropriately when they did not detain a man later accused of killing three Wiota residents.

Jaren Kuester had dropped off his dead puppy at the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha, then returned two weeks later believing it was alive. When he learned his puppy had been cremated, he allegedly threatened staff members, who called police.

Kuester was arrested on an unrelated municipal warrant. A criminal complaint says after being released on bail, he drove to Lafayette County and killed three people.

Waukesha Police Capt. Ron Oremus released the results of the department's investigation Wednesday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/16ACi2n) reports Oremus said in an email that Kuester had acted strangely, but added that's not unusual for people with mental illness.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Monday, May 13, 2013 --- 2:19 p.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge says a Milwaukee man accused of killing three people in a southwestern Wisconsin farmhouse must stand trial.

Prosecutors have accused 31-year-old Jaren Kuester of killing Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his brother, Dean Thoreson last month at their farmhouse near Wiota in Lafayette County last month.

Judge William Johnston ordered Kuester to stand trial at the end of a brief preliminary hearing Monday. He pointed to testimony from a sheriff's investigator who said Kuester told him he committed the homicides during an April 29 interview.

Kuester is being held in jail on $3 million cash bond. Johnston set his arraignment for June 3.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, May 13, 2013 --- 10:10 a.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- The man accused of killing three members of a family in western Wisconsin is due back in court.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday afternoon for 31-year-old Jaren Kuester, of Milwaukee.

Kuester is charged with killing 70-year-old Gary Thoreson; his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson; and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson, last month at their farmhouse near Wiota.

Kuester's public defender, Guy Taylor, told reporters after an initial appearance last week that Kuester is being held in isolation. Taylor says he's investigating Kuester's mental state and whether he may have been using drugs. He also says he's considering an insanity plea.

Kuester is being held on $3 million bond.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, May 10, 2013 --- 1:41 p.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- An attorney for a Milwaukee man accused of killing three people says his client is confused.

Jaren Kuester faces three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his brother, Dean Thoreson. Prosecutors say Kuester broke into Gary and Chloe Thoreson's Lafayette County farmhouse on April 27 and killed all three of them with a fireplace poker.

Kuester made a brief initial appearance in Lafayette County Circuit Court Friday. Judge William Johnston set a preliminary hearing for Monday.

Kuester's public defender, Guy Taylor, told reporters outside court Kuester seems competent but confused about reality and delusion. Taylor says he wants to get to a preliminary hearing quickly so he can find out what evidence prosecutors have and is considering an insanity plea.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday May 10, 2013 -- 8:35 a.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- The man accused of killing three people in a southern Wisconsin farmhouse last month is due in court.

Jaren Kuester is expected to make an initial appearance in Lafayette County Circuit Court Friday afternoon. The 31-year-old Milwaukee man is charged with killing 70-year-old Gary Thoreson; his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson; and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson, on April 27 in the Town of Wiota.

A criminal complaint says Kuester told investigators that challenges in his life made him feel like things were "crashing and burning around him," so he got in his SUV and started driving, eventually abandoning the vehicle in Green County. It says Kuester discarded his clothes and came upon the Thorseson home where he killed the victims with a fireplace poker.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 6:00 p.m.

TOWN OF WIOTA, Wis. (AP) -- A criminal complaint says the victims of a triple homicide at a Lafayette County farmhouse last month were killed by blunt-force injuries to the head.

The complaint filed Tuesday charges 31-year-old Jaren Michael Kuester with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He's accused of killing three people in the Town of Wiota late last month.

The victims were 70-year-old Gary Thoreson; his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson; and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson.

The complaint says the two men died of multiple blunt-force injuries to the head and neck. It says Chloe Thoreson died of head trauma as well as multiple stab wounds.

The complaint says Kuester acknowledged killing all three with a fireplace poker.

A message left with Kuester's public defender Tuesday was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 2:30 p.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- Lafayette County prosecutors say the suspect in a recent triple homicide broke into a house for warmth and then used a fireplace poker to kill the victims as they returned home.

Jaren Michael Kuester was charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The 31-year-old was also charged with burglary and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent.

The criminal complaint says Kuester has a history of mental-health issues. His vehicle was found in a Green County field, and officers tracked him down to a Waukesha home, where he had what appeared to be dried blood on his feet.

He told investigators he killed the victims because he didn't want them to get help.

A message left with his public defender, Guy Taylor, was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 2:07 p.m.

The Lafayette County Sheriff's department has released the criminal complaint in the triple homicide of Gary, Chloe, and Dean Thoreson.

Jaren Kuester is charged with three counts of 1st degree intentional homicide. He also is charged with burglary to a building or dwelling and operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent.

Kuester was interviewed Monday, April 29th at the Lafayette County Sheriff's Department. According to the complaint, Kuester told authorities he had just gotten bailed out of jail in Waukesha, and felt his life was crashing and burning around him. He got into his vehicle and just started driving.

The complaint goes on to read that he abandoned his car, ran through woods and arrived at a property where he went into a barn. He later decided to break into the home and slept on the floor of a bedroom.

Kuester reportedly told police a man later entered the home. The complaint says Kuester hit him with a fireplace poker and killed him. He told authorities he did not want the man to leave the house and get help.

The complaint then says Kuester heard another man and woman enter the home. He allegedly killed both of them with a fireplace poker as well. The man hit Kuester before he was killed.

According to the complaint, Gary, Dean and Chloe Thoreson all died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head or the head and neck. Chloe Thoreson also suffered multiple stab wounds.

Kuester is expected in court on Friday.

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UPDATED Sunday, May 5, 2013 --- 2:02pm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The parents of a man suspected of killing three retired farmers in southwestern Wisconsin say they warned authorities just before the killings that their son was delusional and potentially dangerous.

Thirty-one-year-old Jaren Kuester, of Waukesha, is jailed in Lafayette County on three tentative charges of first-degree intentional homicide. His parents, Kathleen and Jim Kuester, tell the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/ZywQp6 ) the killings never would have happened if Waukesha County mental health professionals had hospitalized Kuester as they requested.

But Peter Schuler, the head of the Waukesha County mental health system, stands by its assessment that Kuester didn't meet the criteria defined by state law that would have allowed the county to hold him.

Gary Thoreson, his wife, Chloe, and brother, Dean, were found dead in South Wayne last Sunday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, May 2, 2013 --- 4:06 p.m.

The Lafayette County Sheriff's office sent a news release late today saying Jaren Kuester had a bail hearing this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. District Attorney Kate Findley requested bail be $3,000,000, and Judge William Johnston set bail at that amount.

Kuester's next court date will be May 10.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 2, 2013 --- 12:26 p.m.

Lafayette County Sheriff Scott Pedley says Circuit Court Judge William Johnston has ordered the Probable Cause Statement in this case sealed for at least 60 days. The “Probable Cause Determination” is related to Jaren Kuester, who is being held in jail on three tentative charges of homicide in the deaths of Dean, Gary and Chloe Thoreson. The judge also sealed search warrants in the case.

Sheriff Pedley says the investigation is active. During the course of the investigation they have also found evidence that Kuester committed theft and burglary. Pedley says they cannot elaborate beyond that at this point.

Detectives and agents from the Department of Criminal Investigation are compiling reports and interviewing people in the area where the murders happened. The sheriff says the investigation is also active in the Waukesha area and other places.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 2, 2013 --- 10:36 a.m.

WIOTA, Wis. (AP) -- Dozens of friends and neighbors gathered at a church in the small Lafayette County community of Wiota to mourn three family members found slain in their rural home.

Rev. Luke Smetters told those attending a prayer vigil at Wiota Lutheran Church Wednesday night that community members need time to slow down, regroup and grieve the loss of Dean, Gary and Chloe Thoreson. The men were brothers. Gary was married to Chloe. Their bodies were found Sunday at their South Wayne home by another brother.

Former Wiota Lutheran Pastor Lisa Nelson says the Thoreson family is a part of the fabric of the community.

The State Journal says no one from the Thoreson family was present at the vigil.

A 31-year-old Waukesha man is being held in the deaths.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 --- 10:01pm

NBC 15 is learning more about the suspect in the triple murder in Lafayette County. Meanwhile, many Wednesday night mourned the deaths of the three victims.

Jaren Kuester, the man tentatively charged with killing Gary, Chloe and Dean Thoreson, allegedly made a scene at a Waukesha animal shelter when he brought in a dead dog to their location two weeks ago.
He allegedly returned Thursday, demanding the dog be returned to him alive.

When staff told him the dog was dead when he dropped it off, he allegedly screamed at them, saying they would pay for the dog with their lives.

Police arrived to escort him away in handcuffs.

Wednesday night, hundreds packed the Wiota Lutheran Church to honor, remember and grieve. The vigil was a time of healing for a community ripped apart by this recent tragedy.

The night was full of prayer, a candle-lighting ceremony and singing.
Gary, Chloe and Dean Thoreson were all active members of Wiota Lutheran Church. Many in attendance say they're simply shocked and devastated by these deaths.

Pastor Luke Smitters tells NBC 15 it's crime that's impacted so many in the Wiota community.

"The community will be strengthened even more" says Smitters.

A private visitation for the Gary, Chloe and Dean Thoreson will be held Friday, May 3 from 4pm-8pm at Wiota Lutheran Church, 6682 State Road 78 in rural South Wayne.

A funeral will then take place Saturday, May 4, at 11am at Wiota Lutheran Church.

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 1, 2013 --- 11:23 a.m.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- Animal-shelter officials in Waukesha say a local man being held in connection with a triple homicide in Lafayette County made a scene a few days earlier when he demanded that a dead dog he dropped off two weeks ago be returned to him alive.

Lynn Olenik is the executive director of the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County. She says the 31-year-old suspect came in a few weeks ago with a clearly dead dog.

She says he returned Thursday asking for the live dog back. She says he didn't seem to understand the dog was dead, and he screamed that the staff members would pay for the dog with their lives. Police took him away in handcuffs.

A message left Wednesday with his public defender was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 1, 2013 --- 10:33 a.m.

SOUTH WAYNE, Wis. (AP) -- The Waukesha man held in connection with a triple homicide in Lafayette County might not be charged until next week, as investigators say they're still sifting through a large volume of evidence.

The suspect has been jailed in Lafayette County since early Monday. Sheriff' Scott Pedley says the 31-year-old is being held on three tentative charges of first-degree intentional homicide.

Pedley says a judge conducted a review within the first 48 hours of the man's detention and ruled that he could continue to be held.

On Sunday the bodies of 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson were found in a South Wayne home.

A message left Wednesday with the suspect's public defender, Guy Taylor, was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 30, 2013 --- 11:55 a.m.

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- The church attended by three slain family members in Lafayette County is planning a prayer vigil in the wake of their deaths.

Wiota Lutheran Church Pastor Luke Smetters says a service will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. Smetters said Tuesday that it's important for the community of faith to come together in "times like this."

Smetters says Gary, Chloe and Dean Thoreson were active members of the church. Their bodies were found Sunday in a home in South Wayne. A Waukesha man wanted in connection with their homicides remains jailed in Lafayette County.

Smetters says the family of the victims is "shocked, devastated and raw as they are filled with utter sadness."

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 30, 2013 --- 10:07 a.m.

SOUTH WAYNE, Wis. (AP) -- Relatives of three family members found slain in their Lafayette County home describe the victims as loving people who were involved in their community.

The bodies of 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson were found Sunday. A statement released by the family through their church in Wiota says the three could regularly be found cheering on the Wisconsin Badger or enjoying a lutefisk supper.

Gary Thoreson served as president of the Black Hawk School Board in South Wayne. He was a farmer and computer programmer. His wife, Chloe, worked at the Monroe clinic for more than 20 years. The Thoreson's have two children.

Dean Thoreson was a farmer who was married to Rose Thoreson. He served on the Lafayette County Board.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, April 29, 2013 --- 1:02 p.m.

According to a press release from the Lafayette Co. Sheriff's Office, Jaren Kuester is currently being detained at the Lafayette Co. Jail.

He's being held in connection to the triple homicide investigation.

Today, Crime Lab staff members returned to the residence on Philippine Road in South Wayne to continue to collect evidence.

Autopsies of the victims are being conducted in Madison today.

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UPDATED Monday, April 29, 2013 --- 10:00 a.m.

From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee.

LAFAYETTE CO. (WITI) — Waukesha police have identified the person of interested in the triple homicide that occurred in Lafayette County. The suspect has been identified as Jaren Kuester.

Kuester was taken into custody without incident at the Willow Park Apartments in Waukesha late Sunday afternoon, April 28th.

The triple homicide happened at a residence in the 9000 block of Phillipine Road in Wiota Township in rural South Wayne, Wisconsin just before 10:00 a.m. Sunday, April 28th.

Officials say they were notified of a deceased person in the home. Upon arrival, officials discovered a total of three deceased people inside the home.

A 1998 Ford F150 pickup truck (blue in color with a blue topper) bearing the license plate of 220-489F was being sought. The pickup truck is registered to one of the victims in this case.

A pickup truck was discovered at the scene in Waukesha — with a license plate matching the license plate law enforcement officials released in their description of the suspect and suspect’s vehicle.

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UPDATED: Monday, April 29, 2013 --- 9:06 a.m.

SOUTH WAYNE, Wis. (AP) -- Lafayette County sheriff's officials have identified three people found dead in a house near South Wayne.

Authorities say 70-year-old Gary Thoreson, his 66-year-old wife, Chloe Thoreson, and his 76-year-old brother, Dean Thoreson, are homicide victims. Their bodies were found Sunday.

A man wanted for questioning in the homicides was arrested in Waukesha. Police Lt. Tom Wagner says the man was taken into custody without incident later Sunday. He has been taken to Lafayette County.

The man was found in Waukesha after the sheriff's department issued an alert for a missing pickup truck registered to one of the victims. The pickup was found at an apartment building in Waukesha and the man was arrested.

Officials haven't yet said how the victims died or a possible motive.

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UPDATED: Sunday, April 28, 2013 --- 5:43pm

The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office has released a statement saying they have found the suspect involved in the triple homicide in Lafayette County. Authorities say the any danger to the community related to the homicide is now over.

The three victims in the homicide have not been positively identified and their names are being withheld at this time.
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Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013 --- 3:22 p.m.

The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office announced the are investigating a triple homicide on the 9000 block of Phillipine Road in Wiota Township in South Wayne, Wisconsin.

Just before 10 this morning Laffayette County Sheriff's were called to the scene of a person found dead inside their home. The person was found by a family member who immediately called the sheriff's office.
Upon arrival deputies discovered 2 additional bodies inside the home.

Local authorities are searching for a blue 1998 Ford F150 pickup truck with Wisconsin license plates 220489F. The truck is registered to one of the victims in the case.

Authorities do have a suspect in connection to the case. Information obtained at the scene indicates he is likely headed to Southeastern Wisconsin.

Anyone with information in the case should contact local law enforcement. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.


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