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Daniel Bartelt charged in death of Jessie Blodgett, Richfield assault

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WASHINGTON CO. (WITI) -- 19-year-old Daniel Bartelt of Hubertus was charged on Wednesday, July 31st in connection with the death of Jessie Blodgett.

Bartelt faces four felony counts in all -- one count of first-degree intentional homicide for the Blodgett death. The other three charges are related to an alleged attack at a Richfield Park on July 12th. Those three charges include one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and one count of false imprisonment.

CLICK HERE to read more about the Richfield Park case.

Blodgett, 19, was found dead in her home Monday, July 15th. The young actress had just wrapped up a performance of Fiddler on the Roof.  According to a search warrant, Blodgett had gone to a cast party following a Sunday matinée. Her mother remembers her coming home after 1:00 a.m. Monday.

The search warrant said her mother placed clothing in Blodgett’s room around 8 a.m., and discovered her daughter in bed alone. However, the girl’s mother didn’t notice whether she was alive. Blodgett’s mother left for work, and returned after noon. That’s when she discovered her daughter deceased.

Jessie Blodgett

Jessie Blodgett

According to the complaint, police found ligature marks on Blodgett’s neck, left wrist and ankles. The preliminary autopsy findings are that Blodgett died of "ligature strangulation." Police also found a "roll of tape underneath Blodgett's footboard." Investigators say they later discovered fingerprints on the tape that matched Bartelt's.

Investigators also recovered evidence thrown away at Woodlawn Park, where a camera captured a picture of Bartelt.

Bartelt was reportedly a friend of Blodgett's, and a classmate at Hartford Union High School, where both were active in the music program. The two had apparently recently reconnected.

The complaint indicates Bartelt told officials he had learned of Blodgett's death from a friend, and had even attended a vigil for Blodgett at Jessie's parents' house on July 16th.

The complaint says a detective investigating this case found among Bartelt's possessions a disc that "contained portions of what appears to be a novel titled 'Red is Red' by 'Joseph Bartelt.'"

"Joesph" is Daniel Bartelt's middle name.

The complaint says a "portion of the novel focuses on Jessica...and Jessica's college experiences. Another portion of the novel details a character named "D" beating another character into a coma using a pillowcase filled with Legos.

The complaint also referred to a search of Bartelt's laptop, which recovered a search with the parameters "serial killer wiki," a Wikipedia search for "list of serial killers by number of victims," which leads to a webpage that defines a serial killer as "a person who murders two or more people in two or more separate events over a period of time, for primarily psychological reasons, which may range from a few hours to many years."

The complaint says the list shows serial killers from the 20th Century to present day by number of victims.

The complaint says other serial killers were searched by name.

According to the criminal complaint, Bartelt's parents told officials he had dropped out of college at UW-Stevens Point after a semester, and had returned home, at which time his parents said he appeared depressed.

Both Bartelt and Blodgett participated in local theater. The two even recorded a song together just two months ago. A demo of their recording was posted on YouTube. Listen to it just below.

The Medical Examiner is conducting toxicology tests in this case. But it could take more than a month to get those results.

Bartelt now faces life in prison. He's being held on $750,000 cash bond. The court ordered a competency evaluation for Bartelt and set the next court hearing in his case for Wednesday, September 4th.

This is Hartford's homicide in 15 years.

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