Human remains have been found in the search for a missing Wisconsin couple, and their 23-year-old son has been arrested in connection with what police called a “suspicious” disappearance.
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office announced the discovery of the remains on Friday, but said the doctor’s office had not yet confirmed if they belonged to Bart and Krista Halderson, a couple from Windsor who were reported missing Wednesday morning. An autopsy is scheduled for this coming weekend.
At a news conference Friday afternoon, Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett said the remains were found in a rural area Thursday ̵
Chandler Halderson was the first person to report his parents missing and told police Wednesday that his 50-year-old father and 53-year-old mother had not been seen since July 1, nearly a week. He said they had planned to spend the July 4th weekend in a cabin in Langlade County with an unknown couple.
“They were picked up by their friends, whose name I never got. I assumed it was someone I was aware of, like their close neighbors up the street or their best friends down the east side, ”Halderson told police, according to charging documents quoted by Channel3000. “It simply came to our notice then. I did not look at it anymore. They were picked up and traveled with another couple. ”
Police said they did not find any signs of the couple in the cabin, however. And as the search continued, authorities said they had many “unanswered questions” about the couple’s whereabouts. However, their son told local media that he thought “they might be at a casino, their phones turned off, no reception. Maybe they are on a boat and having fun with their friends. ”
By the end of Thursday, he had been charged with giving false information about a missing person and booked into Dane County Jail.
The authorities did not hide the fact that they regarded the case as something more sinister than the case of an ordinary missing person.
“We certainly suspect what actually happened,” a spokesman for the Dane County Sheriff’s Office said late Thursday.
Police have been close to what aspects of the 23-year-old’s story they considered to be fake. At Friday’s request to elaborate, Barrett said only that “the arrest was based on him giving false information about a missing person.”
Details were also scarce about how exactly the human remains were found on Thursday and what body parts were exhumed. Barrett said interviews with “friends, family and neighbors” of the missing couple led police to the area where the remains were found, but he declined to provide further information, citing the ongoing investigation.
The couple’s extended family issued a statement thanking the authorities for their work on the case.