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‘This Was A Targeted Act’,' Police Say After Jogger Finds Slain Married Couple In Wisconsin Botanical Garden

“We don’t believe this was a random attack,” investigators said of the apparent double-homicide of Robin Carre and Beth Potter.

By Dorian Geiger
Uw Arboretum Ap

The bodies of a married couple, dumped in a ditch at a University of Wisconsin botanical garden, were identified on Wednesday in a developing double-murder investigation. 

Robin Carre, 57, and Beth Potter, 52, were killed and abandoned by a lake at the University of Wisconsin’s Arboretum in Madison, police announced this week. A jogger made the grim discovery around 6:30 a.m. on March 31, campus police said.

“The individual who came across these two people, they were jogging on one of the roadways that passes through the arboretum property,” Marc Lovicott, a spokesperson for the university police, told Oxygen.com. “Off to the side of the roadway, there are ditches that lie up against the lake that is right next to the arboretum. That’s where these two individuals were found.”

The married Madison couple died from "homicidal related trauma," according an autopsy report obtained by Oxygen.com. Dane County Medical Examiner made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon. 

Uw Arboretum Ap

“We’ve reached the point of the investigation where we’re confident in our ability to say that we don’t believe this was a random attack,” Lovicott added. “We believe this was a targeted act of violence.” 

Detectives suspect the attack occurred in the early morning hours on Tuesday. Potter, who was still alive when authorities arrived at the scene, was later transported to the hospital where she died. Carre was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Law enforcement is now working on pinpointing a suspect and motive in the apparent double-homicide. So far, few clues have emerged in the fluid investigation.

“Our officers and investigators continue to comb through the neighborhood, to talk to people who may have seen or heard something and we continue to ask our community to come forward if they know something or if they saw or heard something that may be related to this case,” Lovicott said. 

The University of Wisconsin Police spokesperson described the sprawling 1,200-acre botanical garden where the bodies were found as a “massive natural space” flanked by hiking and cycling paths.  

"It’s a very large nature area with a few roads that go through it and many paths for walking and jogging," Lovicott said. 

University of Wisconsin officials declined to comment on the case on Wednesday.

“We will not be issuing a statement at this time,” a spokesperson told Oxygen.com.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also complicated the murder investigation, authorities stated. 

“Obviously, we have a job to do and a crime to solve, but we are doing our best to practice social distancing and such due to COVID-19 concerns,” Lovicott explained to Oxygen.com. “This is in addition to the procedures that we've already implemented as a department, like temperature checks when staff report to work.”

The police spokesperson described the investigation as “very active and ongoing.” 

Anyone with information related to the ongoing double-murder investigation is encouraged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or at www.p3tips.com.

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