Unanswered questions surround decomposed body found in motel

TOMAH, Wis. — The man whose badly decomposed body was found in a Tomah motel earlier this month may have been dead for more than two years.

Spencer Lieburn said his father, Kurt Lieburn, was struggling with alcoholism and needed help. He’d been in and out of the hospital, and been kicked out of multiple residences. Spencer himself had to kick him out of his own home a few years ago.

But when his father stopped withdrawing money from his bank account, he knew something was wrong.

For the past two years Spencer’s search for his father has been full of unanswered questions. But now that Kurt Lieburn’s badly decomposed body was found at Park Motel, there’s just one question that continues to plague him.

“How? That’s just my biggest question. How? How do you not know?” said Spencer Lieburn.

Spencer lost touch with his father in late 2009.

Spencer’s wife reported Kurt missing to police in March 2011. She told them he had been staying at Park Motel.


“They went to the hotel where he was last seen and his truck was parked right out in front of there. And why didn’t they do a wellness check, or check the last place he was known to be staying, or any of that? I don’t know why they wouldn’t do that,” he said.

Police said the management told them Kurt Lieburn had left the motel a long time ago.

It was the same story they told Spencer on the multiple occasions he came to the motel looking for his father.

“If she knew he was staying in Room 19 and that’s where his truck was parked when he left, well if she thought he had left for good, why didn’t she go back in and clean the room?” he said.

Over the past few days, News 8 has tried reaching out to management here at the Park Motel multiple times. We’ve called several times and been hung up on. We’ve also knocked on their door, but no one’s answered.

“Disgusted. Absolutely disgusted. He’s a person. He’s my father. They don’t think about it like that. I don’t know why they would close that door, lock it, and not go back in there for two years,” said Lieburn.

Police said hotel management discovered the body on the bed on February 3. They say the body was so badly decomposed, they could not tell initially whether the body was a man’s or a woman’s.

But after looking at photos of the scene, Spencer says he knew it was his father.

“They can say they couldn’t identify him, but he lived with me for a while before he was at the motel and just the way he slept, you could tell — that’s how he used to lay on my couch, the way he was laying. It was actually quite comforting…as if he just kind of rolled over and went to bed there. But fairly gruesome and probably something I won’t forget,” he said.

According to Wisconsin Department of Health Serviecs, rooms that are being rented as apartments — like the one Kurt Lieburn was in — are not required to be inspected.

Police said they’re releasing more information on Kurt Lieburn’s death tomorrow.