UPDATE: Services set for Token Creek Park victim

Theodore R. Peterson (Confirmed by neighbor)

UPDATED: Saturday, July 25, 2015 --- 7:40 p.m.

A visitation will be held on Sunday for Maxwell Peterson. The 16-year-old was pronounced dead Tuesday night at Token Creek Park.

According to the website of Ryan & Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home, a visitation will be held Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Funeral services will be private.

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UPDATED: Friday, July 24, 2015 --- 3:13 p.m.

MADISON, Wis.--- The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Theodore R. Peterson, 47, of Madison, has died.

Peterson is accused of killing his 16-year-old son in Token Creek Park Tuesday night.

Preliminary results from the autopsy confirm Peterson's death is the result of a self-inflicted trauma.

Statement from the Peterson family:

“We’d like to thank everyone for their tremendous support during this terribly difficult time, especially the family and friends who have reached out and the people we have dealt with at the Dane County Sheriff’s Department and UW Hospital. Max was truly an angel who brightened everyone’s life that he came into contact with and Ted was a loving husband and father. Both will be missed greatly.

"We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy during this trying time as the grieving process continues.”
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UPDATED: Friday, July 24, 2015 --- 10:07 a.m.

MADISON, Wis.--- Dane County authorities say Theodore Peterson allegedly used a knife and nail gun to kill his developmentally disabled 16-year-old son in Token Creek Park, according to official documents.

Around 6:11 p.m., a park visitor on horseback called 911 after finding two people lying on a trail within the park Tuesday night. The caller said one individual had his throat slit and appeared dead, and the second individual was shaking and appeared to have been shot in the head.

Maxwell Peterson was pronounced dead at the scene. His 47-year-old father was flown to UW Hospital.

An investigation by the Dane County Sheriff's Office reveals that Theodore took Maxwell, who was diagnosed with Angelman's Syndrome, to the park that evening.

Authorities say around 5:30 p.m., Theodore sent a text message to his wife telling her he was taking their son for a walk.

Authorities say he parked his silver Nissan X-terra in a parking lot just off of Anderson Road and led Maxwell down a walking path 30-40 yards from the SUV.

Detectives found a backpack with a knife protruding from it near Theodore's body. A Remington nail gun was also found at the scene, according to the search warrant document.

A medical examiner on the scene indicated there was a penetrating injury to the back of Maxwell's head which may have been caused by the nail gun, in addition to several cutting injuries to his neck and/or throat, according to the search warrant. Officials say Theodore was shot in the head with the nail gun.

Theodore is in critical condition and was placed on life support upon his arrival.

According to the search warrant, respite services were not going to be allowing female workers to the Peterson residence any longer as a result of something that was posted on Facebook recently. No details were released about what was posted on Facebook or by whom.

Maxwell was a student at East High School.

The East High School superintendent released the following statement: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Maxwell Peterson. Our hearts go out to his loved ones as they grieve this incredibly tragic event. In the coming days and weeks, we will do everything we can to provide support to students, staff, families and our entire East High School Community.”
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UPDATED: Thursday, July 23, 2015 -- 9:03 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Dane County authorities say a nail gun and knife were found where a Madison man allegedly killed his developmentally disabled 16-year-old son then attempted to kill himself.

Emergency responders were called to Token Creek Park near DeForest, north of Madison, Tuesday evening. The 16-year-old was dead at the scene. His 47-year-old father was flown to UW Hospital.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that search warrants filed Thursday say the boy's throat was cut, and that the father had been shot in the head with the nail gun.

The father remained in critical condition Thursday. The warrants said he was on life support and showed minimal brain activity.

The sheriff's office says the family was facing a change in the boy's respite care services, but gave no details.

Copyright: Associated Press 2015

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UPDATED: Thursday, July 23, 2015---1:46 p.m.

TOWN OF BURKE, Wis.---Authorities say a nail gun and a knife were found at the scene of a murder/attempted suicide at Token Creek Park Tuesday night, according to a release from the Dane County Sheriff's Office.

An investigation by the Dane County Sheriff's Office reveals that Theodore Peterson took his 16-year-old son Maxwell, who was diagnosed with Angelman's Syndrome, to the park that evening.

Authorities say around 5:30 p.m., Theodore sent a text message to his wife telling her that he was taking Maxwell for a walk.

Authorities believe he parked his silver Nissan X-terra in a parking lot just off of Anderson Road and led Maxwell down a walking path 30-40 yards from the SUV.

A park visitor on horseback discovered both Maxwell and Theodore minutes later.

Theodore remains at the UW Hospital, and Dane County Sheriff's detectives will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Authorities say part of the ongoing investigation will be the role of a possible change in respite care services for Maxwell that the family was facing.
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UPDATED: Thursday, July 23, 2015 --- 11:02 a.m.

TOWN OF BURKE, Wis.--- The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office identified the 16-year-old killed in Token Creek Park on Tuesday night as Maxwell J. Peterson, of Madison.

Preliminary results of the autopsy disclose Peterson died of homicidal trauma, according to a release from the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office.

Officials said information on the type of homicidal trauma will not be released by the Medical Examiner's office as this is an ongoing investigation.
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 22, 2015 --- 10:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis: --- A neighbor of the family involved in a murder and attempted suicide on Tuesday night now tells us the victim had 'special needs'.

A 16-year-old Madison boy was killed Tuesday night at Token Creek Park in the town of Burke and his father is being held on a tentative homicide charge.

The Sheriff's Department identified the suspect today as 47-year-old Theodore Peterson. His neighbor, Saleem Khan says he never thought this would happen.

"Shocked, yea, just really shocked, in this neighborhood you don't hear about stuff like that," Khan added.

That's the only way he could describe his initial reaction to the news.
He got word about his neighbor, Theodore Peterson,who allegedly killed his 16-year-old son at Token Creek Park Tuesday night and attempted to kill himself.

Peterson remains in the hospital in critical condition but is tentatively charged with homicide.

"I noticed a bunch of detectives walking around the cul-de-sac, I didn't know what was really going on," as he remembered policy activity in the neighborhood Tuesday night.

Khan says he's lived just a few feet away from the Peterson's for roughly a decade. He says Theodore's son had 'special needs' and he'd often see an assistant playing with the 16-year-old.

As for the father, Khan says he would have never suspected Theodore of doing something like this.

"He seemed like a real stand up guy, he was really cool, he and his wife were really kind people. Just real stand up guy, just didn't seem like that would be something he would be capable of," he said.

As of late Wednesday evening, a deputy still blocked the path where the incident occurred. Dane County officials say from the evidence found at the scene, they are confident a murder and attempted suicide occurred but are still investigating.

As for the motive, they're still working to answer that question.

"That's what they're hoping to gain out of the interviews today with the people that they're talking to today to get a clear idea as to what could have brought about such a tragedy," Elise Schaffer, Dane County Public Information Officer, said.
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 22, 2015---1:21 p.m.

MADISON, Wis:---A 16-year-old Madison boy was killed Tuesday night at Token Creek Park in the town of Burke and his father is being held on a tentative homicide charge.

Authorities say they were called to the park around 6:00 p.m. last night after a visitor discovered two severely injured males on one of the trails.

The 16-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene by the Dane County Medical Examiner.

The victim's father, 47-year-old Theodore R. Peterson of Madison, was taken by Med Flight to UW Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Authorities say Peterson and his son arrived at the park in a silver Nissan X-terra, and detectives are interested in hearing from anyone who may have seen them or had contact with them Tuesday 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Please call the tip line at (608) 284-6900 or go to the Sheriff's Office website at https://danesheriff.com/CrimeTips/criminalReport.aspx.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 --- 8:56 p.m.

DEFOREST, Wis.--- The Dane County Sheriff's Office is investigating a homicide and attempted suicide that happened at Token Creek Park Tuesday night, according to officials.

Authorities said anyone with information should call 608-284-6900.
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UPDATED: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 -- 6:10 a.m.

DEFOREST, Wis. (AP) -- Sheriff's investigators say one man has died and another has been critically injured in a Dane County park north of Madison.

Emergency responders were called to Token Creek Park near DeForest about 6 p.m. Tuesday. The two men were found with significant injuries on a recreational trail. Authorities say one man was pronounced dead at the scene. The other was taken by air to the hospital.

The park was closed about three hours as deputies investigated the incident. Officials say the two men knew each other.

Copyright: Associated Press 2015
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UPDATED: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 -- 10:10 p.m.

DeForest, Wis. -- Authorities say the person who was injured is in critical condition. They're still not identifying a cause, but have ruled out any effect from possible fireworks nearby.

The age and gender of the two victims are not being released. The Sheriff's Department did say the two people knew each other and are from the Madison area.

Some people camping at the park have been allowed to return to their sites. Investigators are asking anyone with information to call the Dane County Sheriff's tip line. That number is 284-6900.
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UPDATED: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 -- 7:25 p.m.

DeForest, Wis. -- The Sheriff's Department confirms one person has died at the scene.

There's still no word on the cause.

The park is completely shut down.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015 -- 6:45 p.m.

DeForest, Wis. -- The Dane County Sheriff's Department confirms two people were found with significant injuries on a trail at Token Creek County Park.

Med Flight is being called in to help those injured.

Authorities say it's too early to tell what caused the injuries. They received reports that there were fireworks in the area, but have not ruled that as the cause.

We will continue to update this story as new details become available.


Theodore R. Peterson (Confirmed by neighbor)