2023 WI Deaths

As of November 23rd, at least 89 Wisconsin lives have been lost to domestic violence in 2023. That’s one person killed every 3.7 days. If we continue at that pace, 100 lives are projected to be lost to domestic violence in Wisconsin this year. 6% of victims were age 18 or under. Our website defines domestic violence-related death somewhat differently than the state coalition, End Abuse, WI. We consider sibling and parent/child incidents also as domestic violence, including family cases where intimate partner violence may not have been a factor. We believe that all incidents that happen within a family or intimate partner relationship constitute domestic violence.

January 13th:  Cordell Lee Young, Age 32 – Walker’s Point


A 32-year-old Milwaukee man was shot and killed near 37th and Hopkins on Friday night, Jan. 13.  Police said the incident happened around 10:30 p.m. The victim died from his wounds on the scene. Officers took a 24-year-old Milwaukee woman into custody. Two firearms were recovered. Officials concluded the incident was domestic violence related. Charges are pending review by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

January 18th:  Gilbert Cotton, Age 24 – Racine


A Racine man stands accused of homicide in the shooting death of Gilbert Cotton, who was involved in a physical altercation with his fiancée at her residence on Packard Avenue.  Jimmy J. Mumper, 26, was charged Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, with first-degree intentional homicide using a dangerous weapon by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.  If convicted, Mumper faces life in prison with an additional five years for using a dangerous weapon. Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebush set a $250,000 bond during Mumper’s initial appearance at the Racine County Courthouse.  According to the criminal complaint, at around 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, Racine County Joint Dispatch sent investigators to a report of a homicide that had taken place in the 1700 Block of Packard Ave. Gilbert Cotton, 24, also of Racine, was found inside the apartment with a gunshot wound. He died at the scene. Two female witnesses identified Mumper as the shooter.

January 26th:  Jeanette Jimenez, Age 59 – Milwaukee


The family of Jeanette Jimenez, 59, of Milwaukee, wants the person who killed her caught. The grieving family held a vigil on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 29. Family members said Jeanette Jimenez was trying to stop violence before it took her life.  “I want people to know who Jeanette Jimenez was,” said Raul Jimenez, Jeanette’s brother. “A loving woman who cared about everybody in her life.””She meant the world to me. She took care of me and everybody,” said Dominica Jimenez, Jeanette’s granddaughter.  The loss was tough to talk about for this family.  “She held our whole family together,” said Dominica Jimenez.   The family of Jeanette Jimenez, 59, of Milwaukee, wants the person who killed her caught. They say she was trying to stop violence before it took her life.  The family of Jeanette Jimenez held each other after someone shot and killed Jimenez on Jan. 26.  “She shouldn’t have been gunned down like an animal. That’s what this guy did. He just shot her like a dog,” said Raul Jimenez. Raul Jimenez said his sister tried stopping a domestic violence incident near her home at 15th and Becher. Things took a deadly turn.”She went up and confronted the guy, and he shot her six times,” said Raul Jimenez.  “It doesn’t make any sense. My sister did not deserve that,” said Julio Quinones, Jeanette’s brother.  The family now wants justice.  “Everybody loved my grandmother. I just don’t get it,” Dominica Jimenez said.  “Exactly,” Raul Jimenez said.  “The nicest lady in the world who would do anything for anybody,” Dominica Jimenez said.

January 26th:  Nicole Bliesner, Age 35 – Town of Wyoming, Wi

The name of the Spring Green woman who died in January after she was shot in Iowa Co. has been released, along with the man charged in her death.  On Friday, the Iowa Co. Sheriff’s Office reported Nicole Bliesner, 35, had died as a result of the Jan. 25 shooting. Bliesner was in critical condition when emergency responders found her late that night in the 4300 block of Percussion Rock Rd. The Sheriff’s Office reported she died the next day. Timothy Sontic was arrested at the time of the shooting, the Sheriff’s Office added. The 34-year-old Hillpoint man has since been charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a firearm. Sontic is still in the Iowa Co. jail where he is being held on a quarter-million-dollar bond. His next court appearance is slated for May.


An Illinois woman has been arrested for the suspicious death of an 83-year-old Village of Benton woman late last month, the Lafayette Co. Sheriff’s Office reported.  On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Lynne Montgomery. Previously, it had stated Montgomery was found unresponsive in a Benton home on Feb. 27 and later died at a Dubuque hospital. While the Sheriff’s Office had indicated on March 4 that investigators considered her death suspicious, they did not have any information on how she died.  The Sheriff’s Office also reported Shannon Bussan, of rural Elizabethtown, Illinois, was arrested in connection with her death. The 30-year-old woman (grand-daughter-in-law) was taken into custody in Galena and is awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.  The Lafayette Co. District Attorney filed a first-degree intentional homicide charge against her on Wednesday.

March 1st:  Braxton Phillips, Age 23 – Ashwaubenon


A woman is accused of being party to the death of a 23-year-old man at an Ashwaubenon apartment complex.  Ashwaubenon Public Safety says Keilana Brunette of Green Bay, who turned 21 last week, was arrested on Friday. She’s being referred to the Brown County District Attorney’s Office seeking charges of First-Degree Intentional Homicide (Party to the Crime), Harboring/Aiding a Felon, and five counts of Resisting or Obstructing an Officer with Intent to Mislead/Obstruct a Criminal Investigation.

Based on the 24-page probable cause report, Deputy District Attorney Wendy Lemkuil alleged the crime occurred after finding text messages alleging the suspect Prez Wade was upset over Brunette and Phillips’ relationship. Brunette is the mother of Wade’s child. Phillips was Wade’s best friend.  “Essentially, there was a homicide that was committed that law enforcement responded to on March 1, 2023. Since that time, through voice messages, text messages, and even attempts through the mail, Miss Brunette has been involved with another offender,” Lemkuil said. “The person who has actually made admissions and confessed to committing the homicide. She (Brunette) indicated in an initial interview on March 7 of 2023 that she had nothing to hide and that she had done nothing. She made excuses for the other individual Prez Wade.”  Just last week, Brunette indicated she had been intentionally lying to law enforcement for the past four months of its investigation. She lied to assist Wade in not getting into any more trouble.  Once Brunette’s phone records were obtained, it was determined she was at the apartment around the time Phillips was killed. Lemkuil said it was concerning to know of their concern to get rid of any evidence surrounding the crime.  “It goes to the motive and it goes to her presence there,” Lemkuil said.

The state requested Brunette’s bond set at $50,000 cash. Defense Attorney Carrie LaPlant asked for a $1,500 cash bond. Phillip’s uncle, John Phillips, spoke in court today asking for a lesser cash bond for Brunette. He also forgave her for what happened.  “I agree with the state, but I know how hard it is to come up with the money for bond so I will speak on her (Brunette) behalf,” Phillips said. “I agree with her public defender because I know how hard it is. My siblings may not forgive her. My nephew may not forgive her, but I do. That’s all I have to say.”  Ashwaubenon Public Safety Captain of Investigations Brian Amenson declined to provide specifics about her alleged role.

As we reported Monday, Ashwaubenon Public Safety announced they were seeking a homicide charge against Prez Wade, 21, for the death of Braxton Phillips on March 1. Officers found Phillips, who was from Hobart, dead with a gunshot wound at Creekwood Apartments on Viking Drive.

Wade has been in custody for an unrelated offense since the following day.

Brunette’s bond was set at $10,000 cash. She is scheduled to make her next court appearance on July 10 at 10:00 a.m.

March 9th:  Richard Lee Bork, Age 51 – Black River Falls

The victim in a death investigation in Jackson County is identified.  According to a media release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, with the help of the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory have identified the human remains found during the death investigation on County Highway O in the Town of Manchester.  The media release says the human remains have been identified as those of 51-year-old Richard Lee Bork of rural Black River Falls, Wisconsin.  The media release states, “Star Myers (Bork) reported her husband, Richard Bork, as a missing person on March 9th, 2023, but the totality of information obtained throughout this investigation has made it clear to law enforcement that Richard Bork was never missing, but instead was the victim of a homicide.”

March 11th: Johanna Schultz, Age 20 – Omro


An Omro man has been charged in Winnebago County for first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.  According to a criminal complaint, 22-year-old Joseph Olvera was arrested on March 11 at his apartment on the 500 block of Spruce Street following a standoff with law enforcement.  In the complaint, Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene after Olvera called 911 stating he strangled and killed his girlfriend. He said he had multiple weapons and was going to end his life. Dispatch advised they could hear what sounded like gunshots.  Inside the residence, the body of a 20-year-old woman, identified as Johanna Schultz, was found dead at the scene.  The SWAT team, police, and negotiators spent roughly 8 hours at the scene according to the Sheriff’s Office.  Olvera stated to dispatch that he did not want to exit the residence unarmed and with his hands up as it was a sign of surrender.  Around 4:00 a.m., Olvera exited the apartment with a gun while wearing body armor. After negotiations, Olvera dropped the handgun and took off the body armor, and was taken into custody.  Schultz and Olvera were dating on and off, according to friends and family members law enforcement interviewed stated in the complaint. They said Schultz and Olvera’s relationship was toxic and would regularly argue several times a month.  Olvera confirmed with deputies he and Schultz were the only people in the apartment that night and it was locked. He also told police he didn’t remember how Schultz died because he was drunk.  An autopsy report determined Schultz died of “smothering”.  According to court records, Olvera’s bond was set at $1,000,000 cash. Further proceedings are scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on March 27. Olvera’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on March 30.

March 15th: Beverly Meyer, Age 71 – Liberty

The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office publicly identified the people found dead in a Liberty home Wednesday as Albert Meyer, 75, and his wife, Beverly Meyer, 71. The sheriff’s office says they died in a murder-suicide.  Deputies went to the home on County Rd. S, east of County M, after one of the Meyers failed to show up for a scheduled appointment.  The investigation shows Albert killed his wife and then took his own life.  The sheriff’s office confirms it was a domestic-abuse related killing, and it urges if you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse to please contact law enforcement or a domestic abuse shelter.

March 15th: Unnamed Woman, Age 27 – Milwaukee

A 28-year-old Milwaukee man is charged with felony murder-battery in the death of a 27-year-old woman in March 2023. The accused is Orville Duke.  According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police received a 911 call around 12:45 p.m. on March 15. The caller stated “he just woke up and his girl’s not breathing. The caller stated that all he knew was that she got into a fight last night and was drunk and that he picked her up and came home.”

Milwaukee police responded to the home near 46th and Villard — and found a 27-year-old woman deceased.  The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy of the deceased. The cause of death was determined to be “multiple blunt force injuries,” the complaint says.  On March 25, detectives interviewed defendant Duke. Duke indicated on March 14, he and the victim had gone to Potawatomi Casino in separate cars. At one point, the woman left the casino to go to a bar near 51st and Villard. Duke said he later went to the bar to get the woman — he told detectives the victim “was very intoxicated, and he noticed some redness on her face,” the complaint says.  Eventually, Duke said he got the woman home. He told detectives the woman “started to become aggressive with him,” the complaint says. Duke also told police the woman “had a green glass bottle that she used to hit her forehead,” the complaint says. Duke said the woman then went to sleep.  According to the criminal complaint, “Duke denied hitting (the woman) and said that her injuries were from the bar and her hitting herself with the bottle. After further questioning, Duke said that (the woman) attacked him, and that to defendant himself, he pushed her and then kicked her in the back.” Duke told detectives “as he started kicking her, he ‘blacked out’ and then once he stopped blacking out, he gained his composure and stopped kicking (the woman),” the complaint says.  Duke made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Friday, Aug. 18. Cash bond was set at $10,000.
March 16th: Kayla Calderon, Age 18 – Milwaukee

Six months after Milwaukee police found Kayla Calderon dead, there’s been no update on the investigation, but court records offer details.  Police haven’t charged anyone for her death. but they are investigating the victim’s boyfriend.  A Milwaukee County judge signed off on a search warrant for that man’s social media records which include threatening messages to the victim’s mother.

“She loved her kids,” said Lydia Hernandez. “She loved her family, and she was very outgoing.”  In March, two of Kayla Calderon’s cousins said they couldn’t quite comprehend why the 18-year-old mother of two was gone.  “We need answers,” said Nelicia Miranda. “We need answers soon, you know, because it just doesn’t make sense.”  Milwaukee police found her dead inside an apartment near 53rd and Center.  Family said Calderon had a gunshot wound, but police only labeled it a death investigation.  Search warrants shed light on their investigation into Calderon’s then-boyfriend for first-degree intentional homicide.  A Milwaukee County judge signed off on a warrant for that man’s Facebook and Instagram records around the time of Calderon’s death. The warrant says obtaining the records would allow investigators to see any posts with the man possessing the gun found at the scene of Calderon’s death because “the firearm recovered is very unique.”  The warrant also includes text messages sent by the man to the victim’s mother about a week before her death. According to police. the man was trying to get his keys back from Calderon when he told her mom,”Tell that [expletive] come outside. I don’t give a [expletive]. If y’all call y’all family or police, I’ll shoot through that [expletive] n kill whole house in the kids.”  He went on to say, “I don’t care about no police, no going to jail. I’ll go to heaven or hell before I let [expletives] play with me.”  The warrant says the boyfriend told police Calderon shot herself, but someone else told detectives the boyfriend did it accidentally.

March 18th: Jan Metzig, Age 71 & David Metzig, Age 72– Wolf River


Erik Metzig, a 25-year-old former resident of the town of Wolf River, has been charged with killing his parents, David and Jan Metzig, last Saturday morning.He faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, a Class A felony that carries a sentence of life imprisonment, according to the criminal complaint from Winnebago County.  First responders were dispatched at 5:16 a.m. Saturday for a welfare check when a 911 call came from the home and was cut short, according to the complaint.  Deputies first checked David and Jan’s business, then spoke with an unidentified witness who was another member of the family, the complaint said. The witness escorted deputies to David and Jan’s home, where they found the couple in their bedroom, covered in blankets and dead from apparent gunshot wounds.  The witness said that Erik lived with David and Jan and should be home, but Erik and his car were gone.  Upon searching the Metzigs’ home, officers found a loaded AR platform rifle on the kitchen table and a 9mm handgun in the garbage, the complaint said. A journal found in Erik’s bedroom stated he wanted to make it look as though his parents went missing while out for a walk.  Police from the Fox Valley Metro Police Department later found Erik and his car at the Heart of the Valley YMCA in Kimberly. He refused to speak about the incident, but was wearing yellow-toned shooting glasses. He was arrested at around 8 a.m. Saturday.  His initial appearance in court was Tuesday, according to public records. He was ordered to provide a DNA sample, surrender his passport and maintain absolute sobriety. He is being held at the Winnebago County Jail on a $1 million cash bond. His next hearing is scheduled for Monday.  David and Jan Metzig owned and operated Union Star Cheese Factory in the unincorporated community of Zittau in the town of Wolf River. The couple purchased the business in 1980, and it had been in the Metzig family since 1911, according to the company’s website.

March 18th: One person found dead, another seriously injured– Hortonville

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating a death in Hortonville, Wis. that occurred on the morning of Saturday, March 18, 2023.  At approximately 11:24 a.m., officers from Hortonville Police Department were dispatched to a house on the 200 block of Spruce Street in Hortonville, Wis. for a report of two unresponsive individuals. Upon arrival, officers located a deceased adult female and an adult male with serious injuries. Officers immediately began life saving measures and the male was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.  There is no danger to the public at this time.  DCI is leading this investigation and is assisted by Hortonville Police Department, Wisconsin State Crime Lab, Outagamie County Coroner’s Office and a DCI Crime Response Specialist.  No further information was released by law enforcement agencies.


April 1st:  Sheriff’s office releases names of men involved in Colby area murder-suicide– Hull

The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of two people who were found dead Saturday evening. Investigators said Daniel Gumz, 65, and Ronnie Gumz, 62, died as a result of what is presumed to be a murder-suicide.The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center received a call Saturday evening from a person who found two of his relatives dead. When deputies responded to the home, they found the two men dead from apparent gunshot wounds. A firearm was found at the scene.  Both men resided at the County Road N home. Authorities have completed the investigation and autopsies, and do not believe there was any foul play or other factors involved.

April 2nd: Kieth Allen, Age 40– Milwaukee


Milwaukee Police are investigating a homicide that took place on Sunday, April 2, 2023, at approximately 4:02 a.m., near 22nd St. and Fairmount Ave.  According to police, the suspect, a 29-year-old Milwaukee woman, stabbed and killed the victim, a 40-year-old man, during a domestic dispute.  The woman was arrested and she is expected to be charged in the coming days.


April 8th: Chetek Police Officer Emily Breidenbach, Age 32 and Cameron Police Officer Hunter Scheel, Age 23 – Barron Co.

Authorities on Monday identified two police officers and a man who were all killed in a shootout during a weekend traffic stop in northwestern Wisconsin.  State Justice Department officials said 32-year-old Emily Breidenbach of the Chetek Police Department and 23-year-old Hunter Scheel of the Cameron Police Department were killed after they stopped 50-year-old Glenn Douglas Perry of New Auburn on Saturday afternoon in Cameron. Perry later died at a hospital.  The officers stopped Perry to check on his welfare after police received “notification of concerning behavior” and because he was wanted on a warrant, Justice Department officials said. They did not release further details on the incident, which is still under investigation.

According to court records, a Barron County judge issued a bench warrant for Perry on March 30. The warrant was issued after Perry failed to attend court for a hearing requested by the county child support agency as part of a divorce case. Perry also was charged twice for domestic violence related offenses in 2020.  The Cameron and Chetek police departments issued a joint statement briefly outlining the officers’ backgrounds. Briedenbach had been with her department since 2019 and handled the agency’s therapy dog, Officer Grizz. Before returning to her hometown police department, she worked for nine months as an officer with the Stoughton Police Department in Dane County. Scheel joined the Cameron department just last year, graduating from the law enforcement academy in December. He also served six years as a member of the Army National Guard.  About eight miles apart, Cameron and Chetek are small towns, Cameron with just about 1,800 residents, Chetek with 2,100. The police departments for both communities have just a handful of officers.  Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said that the two officers and local sheriff’s deputies worked together closely. He said it wasn’t unusual that they were backing each other up during a traffic stop.  “They are very small departments, very small communities, we work together as a team, as one,” he said during a news conference Monday. “It’s really one department, they just have a different patch on their shoulder.”

April 15th: Alexis ‘Lexi’ Fisher, Age 36  – Racine

Dozens of candles and bunches of balloons lay inside the roundabout on Spring and State in Racine — a somber reminder of a life that was cut short early Saturday morning.  Racine police responded to reports of a woman lying in the street around 5 a.m. on April 15.   When they arrived, they found a 36-year-old woman dead at the scene from an apparent gunshot wound.   Family later identified the victim as Alexis ‘Lexi’ Fisher, a mother of five.  “She was a really good person. She didn’t deserve to die,” said her sibling, Britnee Fisher. “She loved really hard. Especially when it came to her family and her friends or relationships.”  Fisher said she’ll miss her sister’s ability to bring the heat not only in the kitchen, but also in her music skills.  “I ain’t gotta lie, she made the best food ever,” Fisher said. “And she can actually rap, seems like the best rapper ever.”  Police have not publicly said who they believe the shooter is, but family think it may have been a man she had been seeing.  “Guess who got to suffer now? Out of all of us, her kids got to suffer. He took her away from her kids,” Fisher said. “Her parents loved her dearly much and her siblings and her kids and her main close friends.”  Now, she’s demanding answers from officials and seeking justice for her older sister.  “Everything about her was love and compassion,” Fisher said. “I’m gonna say she’s a northside legend.”  A public prayer vigil will be held on Wednesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. by the roundabout.