Wisconsin News

Black River Falls police investigate 'suspicious death'

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. - Black River Falls police are searching for a man after the woman he lived with turns up dead.

Police are investigating the woman's death as suspicious.

Police have not identified the victim, but said the death was not from natural causes.

They said a friend of the woman called police after she unsuccessfully tried to reach the woman several times.

Her body was found in a rental property where she was staying on the 300 block of Chestnut Street.

The property's landlord say her body was found in the bathtub.

Police said she was living with Michael Harmon and that the two knew each other, but would not confirm what kind of relationship they had.

Police are not calling Harmon a suspect, but would like to question him.

"We know that he was with her, and this would have been Saturday evening, and we have witnesses that he was with her while she was still alive and we just need to speak to him," said Dave Frederick, chief of Black River Falls Police Department.


Landlord Terrance Duffy never expected to see caution tape and investigators surrounding his Black River Falls property.

"Well, you know, I'm shocked that this girl just moved in, like, four days ago," said Duffy.

He rents out the property behind his house.

Police came Sunday evening to check on the woman.

"I was just freaking out that, you know, ‘Please don't tell me that there's a dead body in my rental,'" said Duffy.

Duffy originally rented the property to a different woman a little more than a year ago.

Harmon moved in with her shortly after.

"He spoke about things that made me uncomfortable right out of the gate, and I knew I wasn't going to want him as a tenant, but I knew I had already locked into a lease," said Duffy. "I'm just as tied into that as he was."

During this time, Duffy said, something just wasn't right.

"I've heard many nights where I could sit here on the couch and I could audibly hear their arguing, and then I'd have to go out there a couple of times and say, ‘Hey, this needs to stop,'" said Duffy.

Duffy said he was hoping to do something about the problem soon.

"By law, I have to have a reason to get rid of him and I had a couple violations with the lease with the arguing, so I already had a little bit there," said Duffy.

The first woman Harmon lived with moved out a couple of weeks ago before the victim moved in.

Now Duffy wishes he could have done something earlier.

"If I could have avoided it, and as many people would tell you, I'd be the first one to step in on something like this," said Duffy.

Police are waiting for the autopsy results to know what happened for sure.

Police said there's no immediate threat to the community.

They do not think Harmon is still in the area, but urge anyone who knows anything to contact police at 715-284-9155.


Black River Falls police are investigating a "suspicious death" Monday morning at a residence at the corner of Chestnut and Jefferson streets.

When police arrived to do a welfare check at 339 1/2 Chestnut St. in the City of Black River Falls about 7 p.m. Sunday, they found the body of a woman.

The preliminary investigation shows the woman did not die of natural causes. Investigators are waiting on autopsy results before releasing the cause of death.

The victim's name has not been released, pending notification of family.

Black River Falls police say based on information there is no reason to believe the general public is in danger.

Police are trying to locate Michael Harmon, the last known person to have contact with the victim.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and Crime Lab, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol are helping police with the investigation.

If you have any information or know where Michael Harmon is, you're asked to contact the Black River Falls Police Department at 715-284-9155.

Stay with News 8 and News8000.com for more information as it becomes available.



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