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Madison man accused of homicide after authorities find woman’s body two months after death

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim Monday as a 55-year-old Madison woman.
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 6:01 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:13 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A 56-year-old Madison man appeared in court Monday after being accused of killing a woman, whose body police say they discovered two months after the alleged homicide.

According to a criminal complaint, officers were called around 4:55 p.m. on Sept. 16 to the 4500 block of Deerwood Drive in Madison for a check person that was later changed into a death investigation. The victim’s daughter had called police and said she had not heard from her mother in a couple of months and that her phone appeared to be disconnected.

Officers arrived at the home, walked around it and checked through the windows. They noted that the inside of the home looked to be “in a state of disarray” and they received no response when they knocked on the door.

The 24-page complaint continues, stating a neighbor told officers that they had not seen anyone at the residence in months, but the car that was parked in the driveway had been recently parked in the road and moved in the past month.

Officers entered the home and observed several pieces of furniture flipped over and other items damaged.

Officers then discovered a severely decomposed body that was covered in several household items, including dresser drawers and shelves. A medical examiner determined on Sept. 17 that the victim died around July 22 as a result of mechanical asphyxia and blunt force injuries of the torso, the complaint states.

The manner of death was ruled as a suspected homicide and officials noted that the scene findings were consistent with the involvement of another individual, the criminal complaint reports.

The Dane County Medical Examiner identified the woman Monday as 55-year-old Patricia McCollough, who officials pronounced dead at the scene. The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office completed a forensic autopsy on Sept. 17, but noted the preliminary results are pending further study and investigation.

Another neighbor told authorities on Sept. 16 that they saw a man carrying items out of the residence from the garage and putting it into a U-Haul in the past week of when officers arrived.

Gregg Raether was taken into custody and transported to the Dane Co. Jail on July 23 and released on Sept. 4 for an unrelated case. His girlfriend, Sherri Albrecht is also listed as a co-defendant. In multiple calls between the two, Raether describes being in physical pain and references an altercation with a woman to Albrecht.

Historical cell phone tower data indicates Raether’s cell phone was plotted in the vicinity of the 4500 block of Deerwood Drive around 10:20 a.m. July 23 and again around 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 4.

The criminal complaint also alleges that the deceased’s food stamp card was used after her death by Albrecht. Albrecht later admitted in an interview that she had used the card and gotten rid of it when they found out the victim was dead, the complaint continues.

Albrecht And Raether were taken into custody during a search of Albrecht’s apartment on Sept. 23, when officials note a canine alerted the odor of decomposing human remains in multiple residence locations and Albrecht’s vehicle. A detective also allegedly found keys with the victim’s name on them in Albrecht’s apartment.

In an interview with Raether, he maintains to officers that he had no idea the victim was in the home when he went back to collect his things and that he had nothing to do with her death.

Raether and the victim lived together as adults and he told Albrecht that they had dated.

Raether is accused of first degree reckless homicide, possession of a firearm by a felon and three counts of unauthorized use of food stamps. His bail was set at $500,000 in court Monday. He will appear in court next on Dec. 30.

If convicted, Raether could face a life imprisonment.

Albrecht is accused of four counts of unauthorized use of food stamps, two of which are felonies. An arrest warrant was issued for her on Friday, according to court documents.

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