WASHINGTON COUNTY (WITI) — 19-year-old Daniel Bartelt is an actor, and the lead singer of his own band. His talents can be found all over the internet, and one of those videos showcases an original song, written with his friend, Jessie Blodgett. On Wednesday, July 31st, Bartelt was charged with Blodgett’s murder.
Bartelt is facing a charge of first degree intentional homicide, in connection with Blodgett’s death.
Police say Bartelt is responsible for strangling Blodgett to death on July 15th — a successful murder, after a failed attempt just days earlier.
Bartelt faces additional charges relating to an attack on a woman at the Richfield Historical Nature Park on July 12th.
Bartelt is charged with the following: first-degree recklessly endangering safety, aggravated battery, substantial battery, attempted false imprisonment and disorderly conduct in that case.
The complaint indicates Bartelt came at the woman with a knife in one hand and “tackled her to the ground” and “she thought she was going to die.” After a struggle, the woman was able to disarm Bartelt and get hold of the knife. The complaint says Bartelt then asked, “Can I just go?” and the woman said no. Bartelt apparently then tried to get the knife back — but the woman held onto it. The woman then ran to her car and drove away from the scene.
The complaint says the victim in this case received medical care for her injuries. She suffered multiple cuts to her right hand, which needed a total of 15 stitches. She also had a cut across the palm of her left hand, road rash on her right elbow and right knee.
When questioned by authorities, the criminal complaint says Bartelt went on to describe that on a “spur of the moment decision,” he wanted to “scare” the woman at the Richfield park.
Patrick Konkel is a former cross-country teammate from Hartford Union High School. He says Bartelt was smart, athletic and popular.
“Extremely shocked. Everybody knew him as such a nice kid, so funny, so outgoing, and it’s just unbelievable. He’s got everything, and he just threw it all away with all this,” Konkel said.
Friends and former classmates say they cannot understand disturbing details released in a criminal complaint.
Court documents show Bartelt had a fascination with murder. Just hours before attacking the woman at knife-point in Richfield, police say Bartelt was busy researching serial killers.
Among his searches was Columbian Louis Garavito, known for dismembering his victims, and South African Moses Sithole, known for luring victims to secluded places before raping and killing them.
His last search, just 30 minutes before he went on the attack, the phrase “spree killer,” a term describing “someone who kills two or more victims in a short time.”
Days later, the girl he can be heard singing with, is who prosecutors say he is responsible for killing.
“I said I’m not going to believe it until I actually know for sure because I didn’t expect him to be the one behind this,” Konkel said.