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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.
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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Local law enforcement officials are unified in their belief that a new automated dispatch system is putting themselves and the public in unnecessary danger.

    A new computer automated dispatch (CAD) system called X-Cad was released by the Brown County Communications Center in December 2018 and it's first few months have been anything but smooth.

    Agencies were prepared for some minor snags in implementing a new system, but they say that minor glitches have expanded to widespread bugs that are seriously hampering critical services.

    Detective Phil Scanlan, President of the Green Bay Police Protective Association, gives an example of how the glitches impact police work.

    "We've had officers find suspicious vehicles in the middle of the night, they run the license plate, and it doesn't return," he says.

    Other concerns relate to civilian 911 calls, where the system is failing to generate the location of the caller.

    "Heaven forbid someone calls 911 and the GPS coordinates show that they're in Iceland," says Scanlan. "Then we can't get a rescue squad or a squad car to them."

    Other cited failures include the inability to provide accurate wanted records to law enforcement in the field and the failure to send/receive standard alerts relating to vehicles that may have been stolen or involved in a crime.

    These inefficiencies are forcing law enforcement to utilize manual data entry, which takes away from their available time to patrol communities.

    For the frustrated individuals impacted by the failures, it's jarring that this is happening in an age when technology is so paramount to everyday life.

    "It's 2019, information technology should not be buried to law enforcement," says Scanlan.

    He feels this is a frustration that should be easily understood by anyone.

    "You're at home and your wi-fi goes out, the frustration that you feel," he explains. "Or you're driving in a big city and you're using your Google Maps and when you know you have to exit it freezes."

    The hope for agencies is that the old automated system can be brought back while a replacement is sought after.

    Until a fully functional CAD system can be restored the concerns will continue to be twofold

    "That it's creating a danger for officers, that it's creating a danger for civilians who might not get their 911 information properly to our officers," says Scanlan.


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  • 01/17/19--17:47: Freedom for Disabled Riders
  • APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Transportation officials in Appleton say "the way of the future" is already here for some of their transit buses.

    The Quantum device is starting to pop-up throughout the Fox Valley.

    It's an automatic rear-facing system that safely secures wheelchairs in buses.

    10 Valley Transit buses will have the system by Labor Day.

    "We will outfit our entire system by probably over the next 5 years," says Ron McDonald, with Valley Transit. "We'll like to eventually have our entire fleet outfitted like this."

    He says each Quantum device costs $2,000, but despite the cost, they open up opportunities for disabled riders.

    "For me it's freedom, it's freedom to come and go as I please," says Joe Martin, an alderman for the City of Appleton.

    Martin uses a wheelchair and is able to use public transportation with a sense of independence, thanks to the device.

    "And I did it all by myself and no help from the driver," Martin explains.

    Michael Laidlaw, the senior regional manager of Q'Straint, explains how the technology adjusts to the bus braking.

    "The backboard's actually our deceleration," explains Laidlaw. "It's a big winner for all passengers.

    Not only is the system convenient for the rider, but it benefits everyone on board.

    "It speeds up the ability to board and de-board so, we're not waiting for a person in a mobility device to board the bus and having that operator invade the persons space," he says.

    The technology will serve to eliminate forced close encounters between disabled riders and bus drivers.

    "In the past, the other devices with the four-point system, the bus driver, they had no other way to do it, would have to get close to an individual in awkward positions," says John Meissner from Options for Independent Living.

    The hope is that some disabled individuals that have previously avoided public transportation will now be more open to the opportunity.

    "For those that don't ride today, they can ride tomorrow," Martin says.

    Valley Transit is reporting that their new bus with the service will be in service for the first time on Friday.

    The bus will cover an area from downtown Appleton to Kaukauna as it operates along route 20.

    The Quantum system is already installed on some Green Bay Metro Transit buses.


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  • 01/17/19--21:04: Training To Save Lives
  • LITTLE CHUTE, WI (WTAQ) - High School Students are learning how to save lives.  

    Little Chute Career Pathway students are learning Hands-Only CPR and are learning how to teach it to others.   

    "About 30 students joined us which exceeded our expectations."  

    Kelli VanderWielen, with the American Heart Association, was at the school Thursday as part of a two-day experience and said the students learned two main things.  

    "Call 911 and press hard and fast and concentrate on 100 to 120 beat per minute.  

    She says if you can think of or hum Stayin Alive by the Bee Gees or Walk the Line by Johnny Cash, the beat of both songs is the pace needed to be effective.   Other examples are Crazy in Love by Beyonce and Hips Don't Lie by Shakira.   

    People feel more comfortable performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song.  

    According to the American Heart Association, when a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby.    

    Once they learn how to administer Hands-Only CPR, the students plan to build a program in the Fox Cities where they become the teachers.  

    "These students have proven that they are ready to take action and be a resource in the community to help others understand what this is and how they can save someone."  

    The skill is needed everywhere.  

    Studies show about 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes.  


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - With a successful 2018 behind them and big goals for 2019, the Fox Cities Chamber reported to the community Thursday.

    Oktoberfest and Bazaars after Dark were some successes of 2018.  

    It was estimated that Oktoberfest allowed for $2.5 million dollars to be invested back in the community."  

    Becky Bartoszek, new President of the Fox Cities Chamber says it opens the door to big goals in 2019, one of which focuses on communication.  

    "We will have a new format to combine ongoing communication for our municipalities, our school system, and our businesses."  

    Along with that, the chamber plans to have some exciting news on how they can help those who take the time to hit the books to better their future.  

    "We will be announcing a new platform and a new way to recognize academic excellence."  

    The Chamber reported 135 new members in 2018, bringing the total to 931 members.   The Chamber also had 43 milestone celebrations ranging from ribbon cuttings to grand openings.  

    2018 Your Future LIVE, 2-day career expo allowed for over 2,600 local 8th graders to engage with 82 businesses to explore Fox Cities careers. 1,900 high schoolers made connections on the second day.  

    Along with that Bartoszek praised the work of the Regional Partnership's work for five months of collaborative and diligent work behind the scenes to save the 355 Kimberly Clark Cold Spring jobs. 

      In 2019, the Chamber hopes to sharpen the focus on the members, investors and the community. 

      "We are also reaching out to different organizations that can help us provide discounts on products and services that small businesses need to succeed."  

    That could include health insurance, promotional products, and other services.   

    "In 2019, our goal is to continue to be your trusted partner and one of your best investments."   


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    MADISON, WI (WRN) - Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature are pitching a middle-class tax cut, one that puts them at odds with Democratic Governor Tony Evers.

    Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday that it will be paid for from the state budget surplus.

    “We actually have this huge surplus that’s been generated, and rather than allowing it to stay in Madison and be spent on growing government, we’d prefer to keep Tony Evers’ campaign promise and make sure that we have an opportunity to do a middle-class tax cut.”

    Vos and Assembly Republicans held a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday. Other members of the Assembly GOP caucus held similar press conferences in Wausau, Green Bay, and La Crosse.

    In Wausau, state Representative Pat Snyder said he doesn’t think that using surplus funds will be an issue as long as business growth continues.

    “I want to keep that momentum going, and with that momentum going, we’ll see surpluses every year.”

    Evers campaigned on a tax cut which he’d provide by scaling back a tax break for farmers and manufacturers.

    “Why jeopardize what has brought us to this point of prosperity by undoing a tax cut that has brought us to today,” State Representative John Nygren said.

    An Evers spokeswoman said the Republican plan falls short of what the governor has proposed.

    The governor’s sustainable plan to cut taxes for middle-class families-which is funded by rolling back tax giveaways for millionaires-would provide relief for 86 percent of taxpayers without adding to the deficit or relying on one-time funds.In contrast, Speaker Vos’ spending plan continues to grow. Between this unfunded proposal, their refusal to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, and growing legal fees for outside counsel to defend their lame-duck laws, Republicans are willing to leave taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Under the Republican proposal, couples filing jointly and making between $60,000 and $70,000 would see the largest average decrease – $311.


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    KIMBERLY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Visitors to Sunset Park in Kimberly will have a new place to gather.

    A rebuilt Shelter Number One was dedicated Thursday, and students from Kimberly High School were the ones who did the work.

    Holly Femal, Village of Kimberly Community Enrichment Director, tells FOX 11 this is really cool.

    "It's kind of an iconic spot in Kimberly. With the scenic outlook and the proximity to the river. So, to have this structure here for the community to use is an honor."

    Femal says the Village of Kimberly bought the materials, and students from the high school's building construction class spent several months building a brand new shelter at Sunset Park.

    Trey Anderson, Kimberly High School Senior Student, enjoyed being part of the construction crew.

    "It was a lot of fun, a lot of fun. It's a lot better than sitting in a classroom, you learn a lot more skill sets, I believe."

    The students worked alongside local construction professionals, like concrete workers, and welders, in order to learn from the experts in the field.

    That includes the architects too. Senior Mackenzie Beck designed the shelter, with some guidance from a local company.

    "It was overwhelming at first. But it ended up being really cool and exciting.".

    Beck tells FOX she saw the finished product for the first time on Thursday morning.

    "It's amazing. It turned out exactly how I expected."

    The shelter isn't the first partnership project in Kimberly. Students built a gazebo last year in Memorial Park downtown.

    "They're leaving their legacy all around town, with the different gifts that they are giving to our community with these awesome structures," said Femal.

    There's still some plumbing and electrical work to do before people can use the shelter.

    That's expected to wrap up sometime in late April.


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    TWO RIVERS, WI (WTAQ) - The Two Rivers Police Department continues to investigate an incident in the 1100 block of Madison Street.

    Officials say a call came in around 3 a.m. this morning for a man in his 40s who said he was suicidal and shot a relative. When officers arrived, they found the man barricaded in the residence.

    The Manitowoc PD's SOS Team contacted the man and he came out cooperatively.

    No one was injured or shot in the incident.

    Police also say the public is not in danger.

    Officials will continue to investigate information surrounding the call.

    They can't confirm or deny a "swatting" incident, which is where someone falsely reports an incident to spur a police response.


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    APPLETON (WTAQ) - An Appleton man could be facing domestic battery and firearm charges following an incident Thursday afternoon.

    Police say 30-year-old Dieshon Manka-Moore was taken into custody after receiving reports of a physical assault on a woman.

    E. Wisconsin Ave. between Morrison St. and Drew St. was closed to traffic for 30 minutes while officers made the arrest.

    Manka-Moore had active warrants from Calumet County.

    He has not been formally charged in this incident.


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    TOWN OF LITTLE WOLF, WI (WTAQ) - Waupaca County sheriff's officials have begun an investigation following reports of a dog being shot in the Town of Little Wolf.

    The owner called authorities on Wednesday and provided evidence his dog had been shot while on a neighbor's property.

    It was revealed the dog's body had been thrown into the South Branch of the Little Wolf River, upon further investigation.

     

    No charges have been filed yet and the investigation continues.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - The Superintendent of the West De Pere School District is announcing his retirement.

    John Zegers will have his official last day on July 5, 2019, after holding his position for the past eleven years.

    Prior to serving West De Pere, he began as superintendent in the Waupun Area School District in 2006. 

    His public school career began in 1995 as principal of John F. Kennedy School in Green Bay.

    "Serving as the superintendent in the School District of West De Pere has been the most rewarding personal journey in my educational career. I leave the School District of West De Pere eternally grateful to the Board of Education, students, parents, teachers, support staff and the greater community for their unwavering support over the past eleven years," Zegers told Fox 11 News.

    No timeline has been given by the school district regarding when they plan to announce a new superintendent.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Officials from Austin Straubel International Airport say the ongoing partial government shutdown could potentially impact them the longer it continues.

    As of now though, the airport in Green Bay hasn't been negatively affected to the extent that larger airports have.

    Right now lines continue to move along and workers are still on the job.

    "Here in Green Bay, you show up and you maybe wait ten minutes at the checkpoint," says Marty Piette, Airport Director. "The impacts not as noticeable."

    He explains that larger airports with more staff and long lines are the ones negatively impacted throughout this process. 

    "It's one of those times we're fortunate to be a smaller airport, because the impact has been lessened," says Piette.

    But as the shutdown continues with no end in sight, officials have to start considering developments down the road.

    "If some of the employees stop showing up then certainly our operations could slow down," he explains.

    But once again, a reduction in staff wouldn't likely create gridlock inside Austin Straubel Airport.

    If anything, Piette explains that a continued partial shutdown might bring changes to their TSA pre-check and screening lines.

    "That could be combined into one lane, that would help speed up the operation as well," he says. "So, that would be the worst case scenario at this point."

    Hypothetically if that change does become necessary, it most likely won't be drastic enough to disrupt normal traffic inside the airport.

    "Because of the short lines at Green Bay and the efficiency of the operation, the slow-down, I don't think would be even noticeable to the traveling public," explains Piette.

    One concern was that while operations remain standard locally, delays may be encountered when flying into a larger airport where the shutdown has had a greater impact.

    For Piette, he's not seeing that either.

    "There aren't any delays with the flights," he explains.

    Additionally, air traffic control staff remains at work as they have been deemed throughout this process as essential employees. 


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    TOWN OF GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Brown County Sheriff's Department is looking for the communities help in identifying a man they say allegedly attempted to cash in stolen lottery tickets that were obtained in a gas station burglary.

    The Red Rocket Shell Station on Sunset Bluff Drive was burglarized on January 3 and lottery tickets were reported missing.

    Officials say the man recorded trying to cash those tickets in.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), held a news conference explaining they sent a letter to state Attorney General Josh Kaul to launch a statewide investigation of clergy sex abuse and alleged cover-up.

    The press conference was held in front of St. Francis Xavier on Madison Street in Green Bay. 

    "That list that was released is not complete."

    Abuse survivor and founding member of SNAP Peter Isely says Green Bay diocese did release the names of 46 priests and deacons with sexual abuse allegations but says the list is incomplete.

    "We insist that every cleric that has sexually assaulted that raped a child in this diocese is identified by this Bishop."

    Isley says this action is not uncommon, as 15 states have the Attorney General looking into clergy allegations.

    He says the list that was released to the public also lack details or any description about each offender, including what parishes that person was working in at the time.

    "When you got that report, what did you do with it? How knew about it? What were all the parishes that these people were in?"

    It also does not list any member of the clergy that is in the Norbertines or Franciscans religious order.

    According to SNAP, 16 Norbetine Order priests that served time in Green Bay had been accused of abuse, but were not on the list.

    Isley says other dioceses have given that information to the public in the past.

    "It is unexpectable that Bishop Ricken has not done what other Bishops have done. He can do it, he can do it today and he needs to do it."

    SNAP is also requesting that an investigation is done to the destruction of abusive priest files revealed in 2007 by the former Bishop David Zubeck.

    "Those files were destroyed because this diocese was about to face civil lawsuits concerning the institutional cover-up of these crimes by the Bishops of this diocese."

    SNAP is also asking AG Kaul to investigate the cover up in other Wisconsin dioceses.

    "It is not a list about clerics that have not paid their library fines. These are not minor crimes, they are crimes against children."

    Isely says that victims of the abuse deserve to have the process be complete and thorough. 

    "How many of these individuals on this list have seen criminal justice for what they have done? How many have been in prison? How many of them have been arrested?  How many have been investigated? 

    He argues that any cleric that works or lives in the diocese is under the Bishop.

    In a letter to citizens, Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith says it is the Green Bay Police Department's job to investigate sexual abuse allegations.

    He says it is important that incidents of sexual abuse be reported.

    Along with that, Smith says he urges any organization that that has evidence or records of sexual abuse to turn that information over to law enforcement.

     

     

     

     

     


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - An automated directory is being added to the Oshkosh Police Departments non-emergency phone line.

    Those who call the police department will be greeted with a menu of selections, starting on February 1. That menu will include:

    • Requesting a copy of a police incident report, accident report, or other open records requests
    • Matters relating to parking
    • Scheduling an appointment for the release of property being held in evidence
    • Filing a police report/speak to a patrol officer
    • Speaking with an officer in the Criminal Investigation Division: Vice and Narcotics Unit, School Resource Officer or Detective

    The change will lead to less waiting time and greater efficiency when calling the department.

    The non-emergency number is (920) 236-5700.


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    MARINETTE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Bond has been set for a Marinette County man that allegedly shot and killed his wife.

    55-year-old Gary Rogge has had a $1 million bond set as he faces first-degree homicide charges after allegedly killing his wife on Sunday inside their Pembine home.

    Rogge and his wife, Shelly Erickson-Rogge, went to a bar Sunday afternoon and argued, which resulted in Erickson-Rogge leaving by herself. Rogge stayed at the location for another two hours, according to the complaint.

    The police were contacted by Rogge shortly before 11 p.m., as he said that he had shot his wife with a .22 caliber handgun.

    He explained that they had been watching western movies and he was showing his wife a “quick draw.” He added that they had been shooting guns at the floor and there were blanks in the gun.

    He claimed to officers that he didn’t know the gun was loaded and that he didn’t mean to kill his wife.

    He said that during the argument, “Shelley told him to show her, to do it, and to try it, and it escalated. The defendant stated he deserved what harm he got,” according to the complaint.

    The gun would have been touching Erickson-Rogge at the time it was fired into the middle of her chest, according to the autopsy report.

    He is due back in court Tuesday.

    If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's state abortion laws are being challenged.

    A lawsuit has been filed by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin as they look to overturn a number of laws.

    Tanya Atkinson, the Executive Director for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, says they are suing on three different provisions.

    "So women who are choosing abortions can get the care they need with a more patient-centered approach and not so many unnecessary barriers," explains Atkinson.

    The first law being challenged limits the class of medical professionals who can perform abortions and the other two provisions require women to see the same doctor twice before receiving an abortion, according to Atkinson.

    Additionally, the doctor must be in the room when the abortion drug is taken.

    "They're unconstitutional and they're not based on any patient health, safety and meant to block healthcare for women," she says.

    While others think the laws are in place for good reason. 

    "This is the killing of an unborn child," explains Heather Weiniger, the Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. "Complications can arise after this, sometimes an abortion isn't complete, they need care."

    She believes the nonprofit organization is suing in order to expand their business in the state, which currently amounts to four abortion clinics across Wisconsin.

    "They admittedly state in their lawsuit that they can't expand their business because doctors aren't willing to perform abortions," she says. "So by overturning these laws, this opens the door for them to expand their business."

    Weiniger believes the endorsements Attorney General Josh Kaul received from Planned Parenthood during campaign shows a clear conflict of interest.

    Planned Parenthood not only provides abortion services, but also reproductive health care, education, and screenings.

    A recent report from the State Department of Health Services on the number of abortions performed in Wisconsin during 2017 can be found here.


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  • 01/19/19--06:18: Crash Kills Two, Injures Two
  • KOHLER, WI (WTAQ) - Kohler Police responded to an accident which killed two people on I-43 South of Highway PP Friday night.

    Police believe slippery road conditions may have led to the crash.

    Officials say the vehicle hit a tree after leaving the road. 

    Two others were injured, but their condition is unknown at this time.

    They are not from Sheboygan County and their identities have not been released.

     


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  • 01/19/19--06:24: Man Arrested For Swatting
  • FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Police say a call to 911 Friday night for a man inside a basement holding a woman hostage was a fake call.

    Officials were called out to the 100 block of 3rd Street just before 10:00 p.m.

    Officers say once the call was made, the phone disconnected and when dispatch tried to call back, it went to voicemail.

    The SWAT team was able to connect with four occupants and upon search of the residence, no victims or suspects were found.

    After determining that it was a Swatting call, a 27-year-old man was arrested.

     


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    GREENVILLE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Deputies say more drivers are ignoring school bus stop signs and putting kids' lives in danger.

    In the town of Greenville, hundreds of kids get on school buses almost every day.

    For neighbors like Kathy Mertz, who see it, it's hard not to be concerned.

    "It's easy for people to just drive past," Mertz said, "Our kids use to have to walk across the street when they were younger and it's always been something I worry about, that they would get hit by a car passing by."

    The Outagamie County Sheriff's Office say complaints of cars not stopping for school buses have gone up.

    "Throughout the county, we might get 1 to 2 school complaints a day, right now in the mornings alone, we get easily 6 to 8 complaints," said Sgt. Borman. 

    Borman said they're unsure why the complaints are up. 

    "We're increasing our patrols on a daily basis, especially in the Greenville area but also throughout the county," explained Borman. 

    He said drivers need to remember that kids are unpredictable.

    "As one parent accurately described it to me, he said 'I have a 5-year-old, if my 5-year-old's art project blows away in the wind, her first instinct is to run right after that'," said Borman. 

    Authorities say if a bus has flashing red lights and its stop sign out, you need to stop, no matter what side of the road you're on.

    On highways separated by a median, only drivers behind the bus need to stop.

    "If drivers are distracted, if drivers aren't paying attention, who knows what can happen, and we need to prevent that tragedy," said Borman. 

    If drivers fail to stop for a school bus, they could receive a citation up to $343. Deputies say a school bus violation can also add four points to your license.


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  • 01/19/19--06:31: Dog Gone Wrong
  • MANAWA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) -  A Manawa man has been arrested for shooting and killing his neighbor’s dog.

    The Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office says they arrested Jeff Buttles for the crime on Friday.

    Gypsy, a 1 1/2-year-old Great Dane, is the dog that was killed. It belongs to Justin and Autumn Beese.

    The Beeses says they’ve never talked to Buttles.

    “Our kids don't really know how to cope with this or understand why somebody would even do that,” said Justin Beese.

    On Sunday morning, as they sometimes do, the Beeses say they let their two dogs out to run around their rural Waupaca County property.

    “15 minutes later our black lab came back to the door and he seemed really nervous for some reason,” said Justin Beese. “Something didn't seem right about him.”

    It was likely because Gypsy didn't return with him. Justin went to look for her in the woods where he says Buttles keeps deer carcasses.

    “When she wasn't there, that is when I started getting a lot more concerned that she took off a little further than normal or whatever,” said Beese.

    Beese came across paw prints and a trail of blood on his fourth day of searching. At the end of the blood trail, he found what appeared to be four-wheeler tracks.

    “Then I really knew for sure that somebody had shot my dog and came and picked her up out of the woods,” said Beese.

    The Beeses say the Waupaca County Sheriff's Office told them Buttles admitted to shooting Gypsy and throwing her in the Little Wolf River, 12 miles from the Beeses’ home.

    “It's not a coyote, it's not a fox. it's not a raccoon,” said Autumn Beese. “It was a domesticated animal that is loved.”

    “It was really obvious it was two pet dogs,” said Justin Beese.

    Waupaca County Sheriff Timothy Wilz says the only time it is legal in Wisconsin to shoot a dog that comes onto your property is if it has attacked or threatened to attack a person or livestock.

    “We do understand our dogs are not supposed to be on other people's properties, it's just not like we always realize that they're doing that necessarily,” said Justin Beese. “Generally, they stay on our property.”

    The family has now turned its attention to finding Gypsy's body. They'll be searching the river on Saturday.

    “I don't think she deserves that as her final resting spot, you know?” said Justin Beese.

    The sheriff's department is recommending a charge of cruelty to an animal, resulting in death.