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Ex-Boyfriend Charged In Milwaukee Mom Emily Rogers' Murder

Nicholas Matzen, 35, is accused of killing Emily Rogers shortly after she broke up with him — which was a couple hours after he was released from jail on unrelated charges.

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Nicholas Matzen

The estranged boyfriend of a missing 23-year-old Wisconsin mother who was found slain last week has been arrested in connection with her murder, officials said. 

Nicholas Matzen, 35, was arrested in the murder of Emily Rogers, whose body was found in St. Francis — a small city just south of Milwaukee — a week after she was reported missing. Matzen is Rogers' recent ex-boyfriend and the father of her 1-year-old child, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“The Milwaukee Police Department is thankful for all the community members that volunteered to search for Emily Rogers along with the hard work and dedication of the Milwaukee Police Department Homicide Unit,” the department said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com on Thursday afternoon. “We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Emily Rogers that have been impacted by this tragedy.”

Rogers was was last seen at her residence near 25th Street and Becher Street in Milwaukee around 4:00 p.m. on April 26. The Wisconsin mom was reported missing by friends four days later and subsequently listed as a “critical missing person” by city police.

Police recovered Rogers’ remains on May 5 from a wooded area behind an industrial building near South Clement and East Waterford Avenues, WITI-TV reported. It was reportedly left under a discarded Christmas tree.

Police haven’t yet released preliminary autopsy results, including the 23-year-old mom’s cause, manner or approximate time of death.

“This is an open investigation, we cannot provide that information at this time,” a Milwaukee Police Department spokesperson said.

Prior to Matzen’s arrest, Milwaukee police had stated that multiple individuals were in custody in connection with Rogers’ suspected homicide. According to WITI, a person had allegedly confessed to police that they helped Matzen move Rogers' body, which he had wrapped in a rug.

According to investigators, Rogers was killed just hours after Matzen was released from jail on April 27, following a 10-day stint behind bars on an unrelated misdemeanor vehicle charge.

Friends of Rogers said she'd told them she'd just broken up with Matzen before she stopped responding to messages.

“I can tell it’s gonna be a [expletive] day,” Rogers wrote in a message to a friend the morning of her alleged killing, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Hours later, she advised she’d broken up with Matzen after he came to her home on Becher Street. When one friend asked if she was OK, Rogers responded, “Not exactly.”

The 23-year-old promised to call the friend “in a minute,” but never made that phone call.

In the criminal complaint obtained by WITI, Matzen reportedly told two friends as early as April 27 that he'd killed Rogers.

He was taken into custody on a parole violation on May 1, the station reported, and when told — incorrectly — that he'd been seen on surveillance cameras removing Rogers' body wrapped in a rug, he claimed he was moving "400-pound sex doll." He also told police that the scratches on his face came from a friend's dog.

Matzen had previously been accused of burning Rogers’ belongings, including a laptop, a baby bassinet, and a bicycle, in 2020, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He allegedly photographed the arson and sent Rogers images of him torching her things. Charges against him in that case, however, were later dismissed, per the newspaper.

Matzen was taken into police custody on April 17 related to a hit-and-run incident days prior, which allegedly unfolded outside Matzen’s property. The case remains open. On April 17,

A spokesperson for the Milwaukee Police Department declined to comment on the open case when contacted by Oxygen.com on Thursday morning. 

Matzen is being held on a $500,000 bond, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. It’s unclear if the 35-year-old has retained legal representation to comment on his behalf.

Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360 or can submit an anonymous tip via Crime Stoppers at 414-224-Tips.