Business Owner Aides in Homicide Investigation - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Business Owner Aides in Homicide Investigation


LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN (WXOW)-- Surveillance video played a key role in leading police to a suspect in the shooting deaths of Paul and A.J. Petras.

More than 150 businesses worked with police to provide information and video, and another local business owner lent his expertise to the investigation.

Rahn Pischke owns Pischke Motors and helped police identify a suspicious vehicle spotted near May's Photo the day of the Petras homicides.

"It was quite  a few surveillance tapes they had set up at different desks," Pischke said. "So I just went up there and looked at different angles and what not and was able to narrow down the one vehicle. And they had some other shots and I could say no, it's not the same vehicle, those kinds of things."

Pischke says investigators knew it was a Dodge Caravan, but he helped narrow it down.

"I knew it was an ‘01-‘07, short wheel base, SE model by the wheel covers," Pischke said.

But it was a smaller detail Pischke noticed, that made the van in the tapes distinct.

"In the first videos that I thought it had a hitch, and they brought another picture later that showed that particular trailer hitch, which really was a distinguishing factor because not many minivans will have trailer hitches on them," Pischke said.

Police found a van matching that description and ultimately arrested 39-year-old Jeffrey Lepsch.

"It's not the first time. I identified a van in another case," Pischke said.

Earlier this year he identified a van in video footage that helped police arrest Izelia Golatt in the death of Kristen Rodgers. Golatt was recently convicted.

But Pischke says what he did in both cases, is a very small part of the overall investigation.

"Anybody would have done what I did because it's an important part of helping the local police and solving crimes and I just happen to be the expert in mini vans in the area."

And as a father and business owner, Pischke says helping in the Petras case was especially important to him.

"It's only 4 blocks away and I think of my son. And it's just such a tragedy something like that could happen so it hits close to home for everybody here in La Crosse."

And police say even though they made an arrest, they still would like anyone with information regarding the Petras case to come forward.

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