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A Wisconsin man is being held on suspicion of murder after authorities positively identified his father’s dismembered remains on a rural property.
Chandler Michael Halderson, 23, was arrested for falsely reporting the kidnapping of his parents, according to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office. On Monday, the sheriff’s office added potential charges of mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse, and first-degree homicide.
Chandler has yet to be formally charged.
Detectives found human remains on a rural property in Cottage Grove, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The remains were later identified as Chandler’s father, Bart Halderson, 50. He had been shot to death and dismembered, according to the WMTV 15.
Chandler’s mother, Krista Halderson, 53, remains missing.
“Our investigation began on Wednesday, July 7, when Chandler reported his parents missing at approximately 11:30 am that day,” read a statement from the sheriff’s office. “According to Chandler, his parents had left their Village of Windsor home early Friday morning with an unknown couple to spend the 4th of July holiday weekend at their cabin in White Lake, WI, but did not return as expected.”
Chandler lived in his parents’ home, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Chandler claimed that on July 4, his mother sent him a text saying they’d arrived safely at White Lake and were planning to attend a parade, according to the probable cause statement. An investigation of their cabin showed no sign of recent occupancy, and there was no parade.
Deputies also learned that witnesses saw Chandler at an acquaintance’s property, “reversing his vehicle with the rear hatch open in a field near a wooded area.”
After a search of the area, deputies located Bart Halderson’s torso, according to the probable cause statement.
“At this point, we have an extremely complex investigation,” said District Attorney William Brown, according to the 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.”
The state plans to formally charge Chandler on Thursday.
“He has lied dozens of times in the course of this investigation,” continued DA William Brown. “He is now seen leaving the area in which the dismembered remains of his father were found with gunshot wounds.”
Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett held a press conference, asking the public for information that might lead to the missing woman, Krista Halderson.
“We are optimistic in regards to her whereabouts and where she is,” said Barrett, according to the Journal. “And we will let the evidence of this investigation tell us otherwise.”
Krista Halderson is described as white, 5’3,” with red hair and blue eyes, weighing about 155 pounds.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Dane County Sheriff’s Office at (608) 284-6900.
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