A man who led Eau Claire police on a traffic pursuit before pulling over in front of his residence on Harris Street Friday has been arrested for first degree intentional homicide of his wife.
Eau Claire Police announced Monday that Thomas C. Biesterveld, 58, is currently being held in the Eau Claire County Jail in the death of his 60-year-old wife Lois R. Biesterveld.
Thomas Biesterveld had been held in the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office on separate charges related to the traffic incident before the homicide charge.
On Tuesday, Eau Claire police released more information about their investigation. When officers approached the residence, they found Lois Biesterveld lying face down in the doorway of the side entrance. She was dead and had multiple injuries to include abrasions and what appeared to be a gunshot wound to her body.
A forensic autopsy completed by the University of Wisconsin Hospital Pathology Department determined that the cause of death was from a single gunshot wound to the back from close range. Thomas Biesterveld confessed to Eau Claire police that he shot and killed his wife. He told police they had an argument and Lois stated that she was going to leave him.
Eau Claire police said it is believed Thomas and Lois were involved in a domestic disturbance which escalated to a violent physical confrontation, and that upon Lois threatening to leave, Thomas shot her in the back from close range killing her.
“On behalf of the Eau Claire Police Department, I want to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Lois R. Biesterveld family,” said Eau Claire Police Chief Jerry Staniszewski.
“Domestic violence is a serious issue that presents unique challenges in many communities. It should never be tolerated as a part of any relationship. There can be tragic outcomes as has happened in this instance,” Chief Staniszewski said.
PREVIOUS STORY (Friday, August 22, 2014):
Eau Claire police pulled over a man in a traffic-related incident, which led to the discovery of a woman found dead in a residence on Harris Street early Friday morning.
Police arrested Thomas C. Biesterveld for operating while intoxicated (1st offense); knowingly fleeing an officer; endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon; and armed with a weapon while intoxicated.
At about 1:30 a.m. on Friday, Biesterveld led officers on a vehicle pursuit that entered the City of Eau Claire. The driver continued until he stopped in front of his residence at 821 Harris Street.
Eau Claire police said during the follow-up investigation, neighbors said they heard a loud sound similar to a gunshot earlier that evening. Additional information identified that another adult lived with Biesterveld. Eau Claire found an adult woman dead at the residence.
The name of the victim has not been released yet. A forensic autopsy is being conducted to identify the cause and manner of death. Eau Claire police continue their investigation and said it is not believed that the public is in any danger.