MADISON, Wis. - The half brother of an autistic Mazomanie man who had been missing since June has been charged with killing him and burying his body.
At a news conference Tuesday, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said Matthew Graville was tortured and abused by his half brother who killed him, froze his body in a freezer and then buried it near Mazomanie last July.
Jeffrey Vogelsberg, 28, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. The sheriff said the 27-year-old Graville lived with his half brother in Mazomanie before Vogelsberg moved to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington with his wife, who's in the Army.
Mahoney said Graville's life was filled with torture, physical abuse and mental abuse.
Graville's body was buried in a wooded area of public land near Highway 130 south of Lone Rock, according to Mahoney.
"In 33 years, I find it very difficult to find another case where an individual took advantage and abused a developmentally disabled male for their own entertainment," Mahoney said. "Matthew lived a living hell, one in which he could only find peace in death."
Mahoney said a step grandfather in Monroe prompted police to look into the case.
Graville had Asperger's syndrome and was considered endangered when the Dane County Sheriff's Office reported him missing in October.
Laura Robar, 49, of Fort Atkinson, Graville's stepmother, was arrested on suspicion of ID theft and party to a crime of hiding a corpse. Mahoney said she's suspected of misusing Graville's disability support and finances.
Robert McCumber, 28, of Mazomanie, the owner of the land where Graville's body was hidden, took police to the scene where Graville's body was found, according to Mahoney. Investigators said McCumber admitted to burying the body with Vogelsberg.
McCumber was arrested on suspicion of hiding a corpse.
Graville and his half brother were living at McCumber's home in Mazomanie with the Vogelsberg family, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Vogelsberg is in custody in Washington.
Tanner Furry, a neighbor who lives near McCumber's property, said he talked to Vogelsberg a couple of times and that he seemed strange.
"(Vogelsberg) was in the war, he told me. (He) said he got shot and he just seemed like he lost it. I don't know, like he was still in the war, or he must have thought, because that's how he acted," Furry said.
Furry said he also saw Graville with injuries.
"Yeah, I'd seen him have a broken nose a few times. I didn't know if that was from him or his brother or what happened. I know he had a broken nose a couple of times," Furry said.
The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office said Tuesday that it has positively identified the body as that of Graville. The official ruling on the cause and manner of Graville's death is pending additional study, officials said.
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