WINDSOR, Wis. — A Wisconsin man who reported his parents missing earlier this month has been arrested and charged with murder after his father’s dismembered remains were found in a wooded area several miles from home.
Chandler Michael Halderson, 23, of Windsor, was initially charged with providing false information about a kidnapping or a missing person. On Monday, Dane County authorities tacked on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and hiding of a corpse.
The remains of Bart Halderson, 50, were found late last week on a rural property in Dane County. Krista Halderson, 53, was still missing Wednesday.
In a statement, the Halderson family thanked the community for its support.
“We continue to ask for anyone’s assistance who may have information on the whereabouts of Bart and Krista,” the statement read, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. “We have strong hopes for the best outcome possible.”
Chandler Halderson called 911 around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday to report that his parents were missing. Dane County Sheriff’s Office officials said Halderson told investigators he’d last seen his parents July 1 when they’d left home to spend the holiday weekend at their cabin in White Lake with another couple he did not know.
Halderson said they had not returned as expected.
“Our investigators immediately began efforts to locate the Haldersons, including reaching out to the Langlade County Sheriff’s Office to check the property in White Lake, but no one was located at that residence,” authorities said in a statement.
A probable cause affidavit states that Halderson told detectives his mother had sent him a text message on July 4 that said she and his father made it safely to the cabin and were going to a parade that day.
Investigators soon learned that there had been no parade in White Lake on July 4.
Langlade County deputies went to the cabin and talked to neighbors there, and there was no sign that anyone had been to the cabin recently, the affidavit alleges.
On Thursday, the day after he reported his parents missing, Halderson was arrested and charged with providing false information about his parents.
As the investigation continued, Dane County detectives interviewed the couple’s friends, family and neighbors. They also talked to witnesses who placed Chandler Halderson at an acquaintance’s home in Cottage Grove, a town a little over 10 miles from Windsor.
He was spotted July 5 “reversing his vehicle with the rear hatch open in a field near a wooded area,” according to Detective Brian Shunk.
“After a consensual search of the area Chandler Halderson was observed in, a human torso was located within a short distance,” Shunk wrote.
Read the affidavit below.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported Tuesday that the remains have been identified as those of Bart Halderson. The medical examiner found that he died of “homicidal violence including firearm injury.”
Bart Halderson was shot multiple times before his body was dismembered, the newspaper reported.
Deputy Dane County District Attorney William Brown said formal charges are expected to be filed against Chandler Halderson on Thursday.
Halderson is being held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. Defense attorney Catherine Dorl argued at a bail hearing that her client is not a flight risk.
“At this point, we have an extremely complex investigation,” Brown said, according to the State Journal. “We have a defendant who had six days to hide evidence of his crime and lied to police in the course of this missing persons investigation, which he instigated. He has lied dozens of times in the course of this investigation.
“He is now seen leaving the area in which the dismembered remains of his father were found with gunshot wounds.”
Brown said at the bail hearing that Bart and Krista Halderson apparently never left Dane County. He said police found a bloody tarp they believe Chandler Halderson used to move his father’s body.
The young man also asked people he knew for cleaning products over the holiday weekend, the State Journal reported.
Krista Halderson remained a missing person on Wednesday. Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett said at a news conference that investigators are optimistic about finding her.
She is described as a white woman with red hair and blue eyes. She is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs about 155 pounds.
“No tip is too small and we will investigate every tip and lead to the fullest of our capabilities,” Barrett said.
Anyone with information about Krista Halderson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Dane County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 608-284-6900. Callers can remain anonymous.
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