Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

Eau Claire coach accused of possessing child porn kills himself

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

EAU CLAIRE (WITI) — Officials say a 32-year-old swimming coach died from an apparent suicide on Friday, August 23rd, after telling police about inappropriate pictures saved in his home.

Last week, a girl reported finding a cell phone recording her in her room. That sparked an investigation focused on Daniel Weggel of Eau Claire, who apparently committed suicide the next day.

“It’s a shame whenever somebody who’s in a position of authority lets students down,” Eau Claire Sheriff Ron Cramer said.

Investigators determined the cell phone belonged to Weggel, who gave children piano lessons. Weggel was arrested for invasion of privacy and was interviewed by officials on Friday.

“He acknowledged the fact that he was doing this, and that there was a stash of photos that would probably be incriminating for him if viewed by us,” Sheriff Cramer said.

Without a criminal record, and with no signs he would not appear in court, officers let him go after he was booked.

Investigators found nude photos of girls saved on Weggel’s thumb drives, a computer and a cell phone at his home.

Hours later, officers say Weggel drowned in Lake Wissota in an apparent suicide, with a cinder block tied to his leg.

“He was just friendly, courteous and considerate,” Weggel’s neighbor, Wayne Mielke said.

Mielke has lived next to Weggel in the same duplex for about nine years.

“We were very disappointed, disgusted in what he did, but we still don’t think he should’ve taken his own life. Nothing could be so bad as doing that,” Mielke said.

Eau Claire Memorial Principal David Oldenberg says Weggel coached at the school for about seven years, and hopes anyone who needs help will seek it out.

“Any student feeling grief, loss or frustration should visit with their parents first, then should come forward and seek resources in the building,” Oldenberg said.

Sheriff’s officials say the investigation is ongoing.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.