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A Wisconsin man has been charged with the fatal stabbings of a couple and their dog more than 30 years ago.
Tony G. Haase, 51, was arrested Friday after DNA connected him to the 1992 murders of Timothy Mumbrue, 33, and Tanna Togstad, 23, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Haase allegedly told investigators he went to Togstad’s rural Weyauwega, Wisconsin, home - about 120 north of Milwaukee - after drinking himself into a “stupor” and pondering his father’s death, which happened when Haase was 7 years old, charging papers show.
Haase told investigators his father was involved in a three-way snowmobiling race among friends back in 1977 that ended when hs father was thrown from his vehicle and run over by another. One of the other riders of Tanna Togstad’s father.
On the night of March 20, 1992, Haase went to Togstad’s home, he later allegedly admitted.
“For some reason, he started to think about the accident that killed his father,” investigators wrote in their probable cause statement. “Those thoughts led him to going to the home of Tana Togstad. Haase could not articulate why he went there but insisted it was not to hurt anyone.”
On the afternoon of March 22, 1992, officers with the Waupaca County Sheriff's Office found Togstad and Mumbrue, along with Togstad’s pet dog, stabbed to death on the bedroom floor.
According to Fox Green Bay affiliate WLUK-TV, Togstad and Mumbrue were dating.
Togstad sustained a single stab wound to the chest, penetrating her left lung, a postmortem examination revealed. A forensic pathologist determined Mumbrue suffered multiple stab wounds to the head, neck, chest, heart, and lungs.
Investigators collected “foreign bodily fluids” from Togstad’s body.
For years, detectives followed up with interviews and collected DNA from “many persons-of-interest” as part of their homicide investigation. On July 6, authorities obtained DNA from Haase following a traffic stop. It was unclear how and why the DNA was sought after, but on July 19, the specimen returned as having a “major male contributor” DNA profile with Haase, a man born and raised in Waupaca County, authorities said.
Deputies found Haase at his place of work at the Waupaca Foundry, an iron factory in Waupaca. He agreed to speak with investigators in an interview at the sheriff’s office.
“Initially, Haase denied anything to do with the homicides of Togstad and Mumbrue,” investigators wrote. “However, he told the interviewing investigators that when he first saw the news report of the deaths, back in 1992, ‘he was afraid he was involved.’”
Haase would soon say he recalled “snippets” from the night of the murder, including when he vomited in the front yard and made a right out of the driveway, according to investigators.
Haase eventually confessed to the murders, deputies alleged, explaining he went barhopping alone on the night of the murder. He couldn’t remember whether he brought a knife with him but allegedly recalled getting into a “scuffle” with Mumbrue. (The murder weapon was never recovered from the crime scene).
“During the ‘scuffle,’ he and Tim were wrestling while standing up, and he moved his arm in a stabbing motion toward Mumbrue’s chest,” officials wrote. “He described Mumbrue falling to the floor near the foot end of the bed.”
Haase remembered Togstad yelling, ‘What the f--k,’ before he responded by punching her in the face, Haase allegedly said during his interview.
Investigators believed Togstad lost consciousness before she began to “stir,” prompting Haase to stab her in the chest.
When asked why he didn’t notify authorities, Haase allegedly said, “I didn’t want it to sound like I had it planned,” according to the probable cause statement. When watching the TV news sometime later, Haase said he thought to himself, ‘Holy f--k, what did I do?”
Haase was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
“It’s been a long time coming for our family,” said Togstad’s brother, Richard Togstad, according to WLUK. “Our family’s really happy. That’s about it.”
Mr. Togstad said they hadn’t personally known Haase but that Haase and his family were known within the community.
“This arrest happened because of investigators’ unwavering pursuit of justice over the course of three decades,” said Attorney General Josh Paul. “Thank you to everyone whose commitment to this investigation made this arrest possible.”
Haase appeared in a Waupaca County courtroom, where his bond was set at $2 million cash, according to WLUK-TV. He is scheduled for another hearing on Tuesday.
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