Wisconsin News

Former girlfriend arrested in 2001 homicide case

Man found dead off road near Fall River in 2001

PORTAGE, Wis. - The girlfriend of a man found dead almost 13 years ago was arrested by Columbia County Sheriff's deputies on Friday.

The Columbia County Sheriff's office said Leah J. Waldhart, 38, of Beaver Dam, was arrested in Beaver Dam Friday morning on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide.

Waldhart was the girlfriend of Curtis Wylesky, according to a news release.

Authorities exhumed Wylesky's body at the South Beaver Dam Cemetery Feb. 4 after new evidence was found in killing.

Doctors at the University of Wisconsin performed a second autopsy and compared the results to the first one, after detectives received new information last summer.

Wylesky was found in a ditch off County Road Z outside Fall River on April 23, 2001. His truck was nearby. It was clear the 42-year-old had been hurt. But the case went cold until July, when investigators announced a person of interest.

Media coverage produced more legitimate tips, and led family members and investigators back to the cemetery.

Investigators said they believe there are others who know more about the case and they hope Waldhart's arrest will encourage those people to step forward.

Evidence taken from the scene of County Highway Z after the death was taken to the state crime lab last summer to be tested with new technology; some of that evidence included blood samples.

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