2021 Deaths

2021 Domestic Violence-Related Deaths in Wisconsin

 As of February 19th, 16 Wisconsin lives have been lost to domestic violence homicide in 2021. That’s one person killed every 3.3 days. If we continue at that pace, 112 lives are projected to be lost to domestic violence in Wisconsin this year.  27% of victims were age 18 or under.  Our website may define domestic violence homicide somewhat differently than the state coalition, End Abuse, WI.  We consider sibling homicides and parent/child homicides also as domestic violence, including family cases where intimate partner violence may not have been a factor.  We believe that all homicides that happen within a family or intimate partner relationship constitute domestic violence.

January 6th:  Jesus Medrano Jr., Age 49 and Latrice Meyers-Medrano, Age 36 – Kenosha

Wisconsin authorities allege a Wisconsin man murdered his father and his stepmom after being caught molesting a minor in the family’s Kenosha home.  A press release from Kenosha Police confirms Latrice Meyers-Medrano, 36, and her husband, Jesus “Jesse” Medrano, Jr., 49, were stabbed to death last week. Inside the home at the time of the crime, police said, were four other children.  Police have detained Jesus V. Medrano III, 24, on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree sexual assault and physical abuse of a child. He remains behind bars on $2.5 million bond.  Officers were initially dispatched to the couple’s home Wednesday morning at around 4:30 a.m. “to investigate a possible sex crime.” When they arrived, officers “discovered that some type of struggle had taken place,” reads the release.  Not long after, they found the couple dead inside a bedroom.  The criminal complaint in the case reports police noted there was blood on the walls of the home. The complaint alleges the suspect carried out the killings with a machete.  The complaint alleges the killings happened after his father caught Medrano molesting a child in the home.

It is alleged in the criminal complaint Medrano said he’d recently been having sexual thoughts about an underage girl, and decided to act upon those impulses. He allegedly said he entered her bedroom with the machete and a pair of socks, to stifle her screams. The girl fought back, and, hearing the commotion, the father came into the room, according to the complaint.  Medrano allegedly told detectives he stabbed his father with the machete as his stepmother was approaching the bedroom door, and that he said he chased after her, leaping over his father’s body, according to the complaint.  The elder Medrano and Meyers-Medrano were pronounced dead at the scene.  Police found the suspect at his brother’s house. Still allegedly wielding the machete, Medrano was ordered to drop the weapon. Before eventually complying with police orders, he asked them to kill him, investigators allege in the criminal complaint.  Medrano, who faces life in prison if convicted, has yet to enter pleas to the charges he faces.

January 9th:  Harper, Age 4 days old – Albany, WI

A 16-year-old father allegedly told prosecutors he left his newborn daughter to die in snow-filled tree before later admitting to shooting the little girl twice in the head.  The teen, identified as Logan Kruckenberg-Anderson, faces a first-degree homicide charge in connection with the infant’s death. A criminal complaint, filed Tuesday, detailed what the teenage father told investigators who had been searching for the baby.  According to the complaint, Kruckenberg-Anderson told them he placed the newborn baby, who had been named Harper, naked in a snow-filled tree in the woods near of the Village of Albany. Prosecutors say he claimed to have covered the infant with snow and walked away, adding that he knew the child would likely die of exposure.  Kruckenberg-Anderson reportedly continued, saying he could still hear Harper crying as he left, causing him to break down, dropping to his knees and crying.  After leading to investigators to Harper’s body, the complaint states, a member of the Wisconsin State Crime lab found the girl had been shot and surmised the baby was likely alive – or recently alive – when she was placed in the tree.  In an interview following the discovery of Harper’s body and bullet wounds, Kruckenberg-Anderson admitted to shooting her twice in the head, the complaint states, noting that two bullets were found at the scene where she was discovered.  An autopsy determined Harper was alive when she was shot.

Kruckenberg-Anderson is also charged with hiding the corpse of a child. He appeared in court for the first time Tuesday afternoon where his cash bond was set at one million dollars. He is due back in court on January 20 for a preliminary hearing.  The complaint states a man called Green Co. authorities early Saturday morning, saying his teenage daughter gave birth to a daughter four days earlier, on January 5, in the bathtub of a Village of Albany home. The caller added Kruckenberg-Anderson had taken the baby and they had not seen her since.  The child’s mother told investigators she and Kruckenberg-Anderson had decided they could not keep the child and needed to do something so the infant wasn’t in their life, the complaint stated.  Initially, Kruckenberg-Anderson allegedly told a Green Co. deputy that he gave the baby to a friend named Tyler, whom he met via Snapchat’s “Quick Add” feature, and Tyler was supposed to take the baby to an adoption agency in Madison.  Kruckenberg-Anderson even offered details about the man, offering a description of him and the SUV he was reportedly driving as well as saying he paid the individual $60 to drop of the baby to be adopted, the complaint said.  Investigators also believe they have recovered the gun used to kill Harper. They say a juvenile turned in a firearm, saying Kruckenberg-Anderson gave it to him days earlier. The weapon’s caliber was consistent with the bullets and casings found at the scene.

January 14th:  Unnamed Baby, Age 3 months- Wausau

A Wausau man has been arrested in relation to the death of an infant.  According to Wausau Police Captain Ben Graham, police were notified on Saturday, January 9, of a 3-month-old at Aspirus Wausau Hospital with an unexplained life-threatening brain injury. He says a criminal investigation into the incident began immediately.  Police say the infant was brought to the hospital by his mother and father. He was soon transferred to Marshfield Children’s Hospital for emergent and specialized care due to the extent of the injury and age of the infant.  Reportedly, the infant died on January 14 of his injuries, an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.  On Friday, January 15, Ronnie D. Lofton, 39, was arrested, Police identify him as the infant’ father.  Police are referring a preliminary charge of first degree reckless homicide to the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office.  Lofton is expected in Marathon County District Court on Tuesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing. Police say if probable cause is found, an initial appearance will be scheduled for a later date.  The investigation is ongoing.

January 15th: Racine shooting was an attempted murder-suicide

The Racine Police Department has confirmed that a Friday morning shooting inside a multifamily home near Downtown Racine ended in the suicide of the shooter.  A woman was hospitalized after reportedly being shot in the chest. She remains hospitalized as of Tuesday, but is now in “stable condition,” Sgt. Chad Melby of the Racine Police Department said in an email.

The man accused of shooting her died after turning the gun on himself, according to Melby.  The man has been identified as Donta Cook, 49, of Racine. The Journal Times is not releasing the name of the woman who was shot.  The shooting occurred before 5:30 a.m. Friday in a six-unit building at the southwest corner of College Avenue and Eighth Street.  A man who said he lives in the upstairs unit next to where the shooting was reported told The Journal Times last week he was awoken by gunshots — at least one bullet went through his apartment wall — followed by a woman who began banging on his door while screaming: “Help! Help! I’m going to die!”  The woman was still conscious when paramedics took her away, the neighbor said. The man who was shot in the head did not appear to be alive when he was taken away, according to the neighbor.  Neighbors said the man and the woman lived together and had moved into the building within the past month.

January 22nd:  Terrence Vinz, Age 65 and Debra Meagher, Age 62- Rochester, WI

Terrence’s Obituary    Debra’s Obituary

Sheriff’s officials say three people found fatally shot at a residence in Racine County last week were family members.  Investigators believe 30-year-old Matthew Vinz killed his parents, whose bodies were found concealed in the home’s garage.  Officials say 65-year-old Terrence Vinz and 62-year-old Debra Meagher had been dead “for a significant amount of time.”  Deputies checking on the welfare of the family last Friday said they heard a single gunshot as they arrived at the home in the Village of Rochester, took a tactical position and set up a perimeter.  They found the couple’s son dead from a self-inflicted gunshot in the home’s basement.

January 24th:  Jolene Medeiros, Age 38 – Nelson, WI

Obituary

A Buffalo County man could spend the rest of his life inside a prison for allegedly shooting his wife over the weekend.  Jonathan P. Medeiros, 38, of Nelson is charged with one count of 1st degree intentional homicide.  According to the criminal complaint filed in Buffalo County Court:  Medeiros called authorities on Jan. 24 saying he had shot and killed his wife.  When authorities arrived they found Jolene Medeiros with two gunshot wounds to her head.  A deputy said as he was taking Jonathan into custody he once again admitted shooting his wife.  An investigator said Jonathan told him, “I stood up out of bed, grabbed a shotgun, and shot once. She was screaming at me and I shot again.”  The investigator said he could smell alcohol on Jonathan.  Medeiros was in court on Tuesday where a $500,000 cash bond was set. He is slated to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 5.

January 25th:  murder-suicide leaves 2 men dead in Wisconsin Rapids

On January 25, the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department responded to a call for service at the 2100 block of 3rd Street South.  According to police, they were called to the scene after what’s described as an out of town family member doing a welfare check discovered a body.  Police say the deceased male had a “recent and apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.” They then found another decease male within the home.  The State Crime Laboratory-Madison also responded to help process the scene. A forensic autopsy was performed on the body of the second male.  They say as a result of the investigation, it’s been determined that the first male discovered intentionally shot the second male, then later shot himself.  Police say the men are brothers, suffered from medical issues, and had been residing at the home together for “some time.”  Police say this is an isolated incident and the public is not in danger.  No other information is being released at this time.

January 31st:  Jovanni Frausto, Age 19 – Appleton, WI

Charges have been filed against a 17-year-old sought in connection to a fatal shooting at Fox River Mall.  A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News states Dezman Ellis has been charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety.  An arrest warrant has been issued for Ellis, 17. His blue Dodge Avenger was found in Oshkosh Monday, but Ellis remains on the run. Police say Ellis should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, do not approach him. Call police. The U.S. Marshals Service is assisting Grand Chute Police in the effort to arrest Ellis.  “Our investigators are actively working with the Marshals Service to follow up on all tips as they are received. We are extremely thankful for the large volume of tips we have already received and ask the public to continue submitting tips and information to us,” says Officer Travis Waas.  Police say Ellis shot and killed 19-year-old Jovanni Frausto Sunday in the mall food court during an argument over a girl.  Another man, Colt Lemmers, was shot and injured. He was treated and released from the hospital.

Jovanni’s girlfriend told investigators that they went to the mall to eat at about 2:45 p.m. Jovanni and his girlfriend were accompanied by the girl’s niece. They were walking around when they came across a group of people they knew–one of them Dezman Ellis.  The girlfriend said Jovanni and Dezman “started to exchange words.”  Jovanni’s girlfriend told police that their argument was over a girl who was in Dezman’s group. About three months ago, Jovanni had been talking to the girl at the center of the dispute. Jovanni’s girlfriend said the girl had previously dated Dezman Ellis, but they were broken up when Jovanni was talking with her.  Jovanni’s current girlfriend says during the argument at the mall, Dezman threatened Jovanni, saying, “I will shoot this place up, I will kill you.” She says Dezman Ellis started flashing a gun. She left the area with her niece and Jovanni took off running.  “Jovanni ran straight and Dezman was chasing him with the gun,” says Jovanni’s girlfriend. She said Jovanni was not armed.  A witness in Dezman Ellis’ group said Dezman had a black handgun. She heard two shots. She saw Jovanni Frausto hold his chest, fall into a table, and then to the ground.

Dezman’s friend said their group ran out of the mall and drove away. She told police she dropped Dezman off at his apartment in the 700 block of Woodland Av in Oshkosh.  Another member of the group confirmed to police that Dezman had a gun and shot it. She stated that she believed Ellis still had the gun.  Survivor Colt Lemmers told police that he had spotted a friend near the Panda Express in the mall when he heard someone say “drop the gun.” He turned around and heard a shot. After the first shot, he felt something hit his hip. He described the pain as “feeling like a bee sting.” That’s when he realized he had been shot.  Police found two 9mm spent shell casings in the food court.  A witness later told police that he saw Ellis and his brother loading a blue Dodge Avenger with clothing and other items at the apartment on Woodland Av. That was right before police arrived at the apartment.  Jovanni Frausto suffered a wound to his chest and an exit wound through the back. He wat taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined the caust of death to be two gunshot wounds.  Police later spoke with Dezman Ellis’ brother, who stated that Dezman told him that he shot someone at the mall.  Jovanni’s girlfriend said they had not planned to meet with Dezman in the mall that day and it was a random occurance.  Jovanni Frausto’s mother, Tanya, has set up a GoFundMe account, and is asking for donations to cover funeral expenses.  On the page, she wrote “I never expected to have to bury my 19-year-old son to gun violence,” and “This is a difficult time for our family and we ask for your prayers.”  CLICK HERE to donate to the GoFundMe.  Jovanni’s uncle, JJ, says his nephew was a good kid. “His grandmother loved him. She has passed away in 2016, so I’m pretty sure grandma will take care of him,” says JJ Aponte.

February 14th:  K.E., Age not specified – Janesville, WI

Authorities say a Janesville man has been arrested in connection with a death investigation in Wisconsin Dells.  Police were sent to check the welfare of two people who were staying in a room at 1015 River Rd. on Sunday morning.  After arriving, officers made contact with a man in the room who said he was OK. He was detained after he told police the woman was dead.  The man in custody has been identified as 34-year-old Jeremy Lee Mondy. According to a news release Tuesday from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Mondy remains in custody in the Columbia County Jail on one count of homicide.  The woman’s name has not been released, as her family is requesting privacy.  Authorities said the incident was isolated and there is no threat to the public.

February 14th:  Unnamed Baby, 39 days old – Racine, WI

RACINE — A Racine teenager has been charged with the murder of his own 1-month-old child.  Shavale Powell, 17, of the 2000 block of 16th Street, was charged Monday with first-degree reckless homicide and two counts of physical abuse of a child after one of his children was found dead and another child was found with a bruise on his left eye.  According to a criminal complaint:  On Feb. 14, police and rescue responded to the 1800 block of LaSalle Street, Racine, to a 911 call for a pulseless, non-breathing infant.  Upon arrival, the child, just 39 days old, was found deceased and cold. The parents of the child, born Jan. 6, were present and identified as Powell and Javian Clark, 18.  Clark is listed as a co-defendant in Powell’s case. Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson said Monday afternoon that Clark will be charged Tuesday.   Both parents reported that they had been the only caregivers the last week the child was alive.  An examination by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the child died from abusive head trauma and ruled the death a homicide. The preliminary injuries described by the medical examiner were as follows:

  • Blunt force injuries to the baby’s head: contusions of face, fracture of left parietal bone, subdural hemorrhage, optic nerve hemorrhages, bilateral.
  • Blunt force injuries to the baby’s chest: contusions of the chest and back, multiple rib fractures.
  • Blunt force injuries to the baby’s extremities: abrasions of right hand, contusions of the left lower ext

An arrest in the death was made Feb. 16, the Racine Police Department reported.  The issue with the older child was later examined at the Racine County Children’s Advocacy Center, and the injury was ruled concerning for abuse. Investigators found that the 1-year-old had suffered an injury to his right eye on Feb. 4, 2020, when he was 5 months old and immobile. The child was seen at the emergency room that same day, and diagnosed with severe subconjunctival hemorrhage concerning blunt force trauma to the child’s right eye and face.

Also present at that time was a small scratch that was out of proportion to the size of the hemorrhage. Neither parent could explain any kind of trauma that would have resulted in such a serious injury to such a small child.

A preliminary hearing for Powell is scheduled for March 4 at 8:45 a.m., online court records show. His cash bond was set at $50,000 Monda

Online court records also show Powell is facing an October charge for disorderly conduct-domestic abuse.

February 14th:  Gia Buccieri Martin, 39- Kenosha, WI

Obituary

The boyfriend of a woman found dead at her home after being reported missing weeks before is expected to be charged with her death.  Gia Buccieri Martin, 39, was reported missing on Jan. 26, with family saying she had last been seen the previous day. She was found dead on Feb. 14 at the home she shared with her boyfriend on the 5100 block of 14th Avenue.  The boyfriend, Roderick Lamar Smith, 39, has been in custody at the Kenosha County Jail on a probation hold since the day Martin was found, as police continued to investigate the cause of her death.  Smith is expected to be formally charged Wednesday.

February 19th:  Daemyn Lucas, 6 weeks- Menomonie, WI

One count of first degree reckless homicide is filed today against a Menomonie man tied to the death of his six-week-old son.Cash bond is set at $30,000 for 28-year-old Jonathon Lucas.  He’s scheduled to make an initial appearance in Dunn County Court Friday.  A criminal complaint says law enforcement officers arrived at Lucas’s apartment on Feb. 19, and heard yelling coming from inside.  When they entered, they noticed the baby, later identified as Daemyn Lucas, lying motionless on the kitchen counter.  An officer started CPR, but Daemyn later died at a local hospital.  A preliminary breath test taken that night showed Jonathan Lucas to have a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.  He said couldn’t remember what happened to Daemyn.  Lucas told investigators that he would take full responsibility for what happened to his son even through he believed he blacked out and could not remember what happened.  An autopsy found traumatic head injuries due to physical assault as the case of death. The manner was listed as homicide.  An assistant medical examiner told law enforcement that the injuries could not have been caused by an accident.