Lafayette Co. suspect killed victims with fireplace poker - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Lafayette County homicide suspect says he killed victims with fireplace poker

LAFAYETTE COUNTY (WKOW) -- The Lafayette County District Attorney's Office has filed a criminal complaint in the deaths of 70-year old Gary and 66-year old Chloe Thoreson, and Gary's brother 76-year old brother Dean.
The document includes details of a police interview with the suspect in the triple homicide, 31-year old Jaren Kuester of Milwaukee, in which Kuester claims he killed the Thoresons with a fireplace poker.
The three were found dead Sunday, April 28, in Gary and Chloe's home at 9092 Philippine Road in the Town of Wiota. The official cause of death for Gary and Dean Thoreson has been determined to be blunt force trauma to the head and neck. The cause of Chloe Thoreson's death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head and multiple stab wounds. Kuester told police he stabbed Chloe with the poker.
The criminal complaint charges Kuester with three counts of First Degree Intentional Homicide, Burglary of a Building or Dwelling and Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Owner's Consent.
The complaint states an eyewitness saw Kuester arrive in his SUV in neighboring Green County's back country April 26. Court documents say Kuester abandoned the SUV, and his clothes and other items were found discarded. 
Authorities say Kuester "...took off his clothes as he believed he was being followed."
Records state Kuester maneuvered through rural terrain and became cold, and broke into the Thoreson couple's home.
According to the criminal complaint, Dean Thoreson was killed by Kuester when Thoreson arrived to check on the home for his vacationing relatives.
Later, after Thoreson was reported missing by his wife, the complaint states Gary and Chloe Thoreson were killed as they arrived home, with plans to use an ATV to search for Dean Thoreson.
Investigators say Kuester did not want his victims to leave the house and get help.
The complaint also states Kuester took money from the one of the victims, and left the house with clothes and one of the victim's pickup truck. Authorities say the truck was recovered the next day in Waukesha, when Kuester was arrested there. 
Kuester's father, James Kuester has told the Wisconsin State Journal he unsuccessfully tried to get his son committed to a mental health facility in the days before the killings. The complaint states James Kuester told officers Jaren Kuester was being treated for mental health problems and was on medications.
The Lafayette County's Sheriff's Office says Kuester is scheduled to make an initial appearance in Lafayette County Circuit Court at 1:00 p.m. Friday.
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