Double homicide in Berlin, Wis. prompts an Amber Alert: Missing girl is safe with relatives

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BERLIN, Wis. (WITI) -- Two people were killed and one man has been arrested in what Berlin authorities are calling a double homicide that prompted a brief Amber Alert for an eight-year-old girl early Sunday, September 28th.

Green Lake County Sheriff's officials say just after 11:00 p.m. Saturday, a 911 call came in concerning a female victim on Broadway Street in Berlin.

Police arrived, and found a woman laying on the sidewalk. Green Lake County Sheriff's officials say the woman sustained gunshot wounds.

Police then learned of a male victim at a nearby apartment -- who had also sustained gunshot wounds.

“Officers responding to the scene found the female in a pool of blood and unfortunately, they did find what would be suspected as gunshot wounds. It was later verified that there were gunshot wounds not only to her, but also to the male subject that was found on the second floor (of the apartment),” City of Berlin Chief of Police Dennis Plantz said.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene by the Green Lake County Coroner.

City of Berlin police have identified the victims as 28-year-old Melissa Tuinstra of Berlin, and 28-year-old Justin Daniels of Berlin.

A crime scene and perimeter were established, and through a preliminary investigation, police learned the whereabouts of an eight-year-old girl were unknown. Police learned the eight-year-old girl had a family relationship with the residence where the male victim was located.

It is unknown whether the eight-year-old girl was present when the victims were killed.

An Amber Alert was sent out early Sunday morning in an attempt to locate the eight-year-old girl -- as authorities believed she may have been in great danger. The Amber Alert involved attempting to locate a vehicle registered to a person of interest in this case.

Shortly before 6:00 a.m. Sunday, the Amber Alert was cancelled -- after the eight-year-old girl, the person of interest and the vehicle authorities were seeking were located in Marquette County.

The eight-year-old girl was not injured.

“We were able to get the grandparents and the eight-year-old (girl) out of the residence — away from the person of interest. Shortly thereafter, early this morning, the subject woke up, called his mother. He was asked for his cooperation to come out of the residence. He came out, met with Sheriff’s deputies in Marquette County and was taken into custody,” Plantz said.

Green Lake County Sheriff's officials say the person of interest in this case is a Berlin man. He has not been identified.

Authorities are calling this case a double homicide. Officials say the public is not considered to be in danger.

Berlin, Wisconsin has a population of fewer than 5,600 people. It’s a quiet, picturesque town — the kind of town where homicides are few and far between. This case involves a series of events that has shaken some long-time residents to the core.

“We saw all the cop cars going by and like ‘what’s going on’ and then our phones went off. It’s very sad and I woke my kids up and you just kind of want to hug them and you ask, you know, ‘do you know this little girl’ — and my daughter said ‘yes,'” Berlin resident Jenni Przybyl said.

The person of interest in this case is being questioned -- and City of Berlin police say several search warrants are being executed.

Again — the eight-year-old girl is safe, and in the care of her grandparents.

It’s important to note, police have now asked us NOT to name the girl or show her photo while their investigation is ongoing. That’s even though her name and photo were released as part of the Amber Alert.

At this time, the Berlin Police Department along with the City of Green Lake Sheriff’s Department are conducting and investigation. The Wisconsin State Crime Lab and the Division of Criminal Investigation of the Wisconsin State Patrol are assisting.

In the meantime, if you have any information about this case, you’re urged to call Green Lake County officials at 920-294-4000.

41 comments

  • crockett3663

    I’m guessing that this was a case of two exes who didn’t get along, and the ex husband used the kids as a bargaining chip. I’m relieved that the little girl was found PHYSICALLY unharmed, but the EMOTIONAL harm that has been done to her with the loss of her mother could be irreversible.

  • Christina

    Life is way too short for children to see and hear about this. Put your differences aside as parents and guide them through life As An Adult, not children. People need to grow up and take responsibility for their kids. Now unfortunately this young lady has no mom.

  • sue

    This is very sad but it’s all to common something that’s been happening in Milwaukee county……pray for peace the city clearly needs it ………….

  • diane

    The deceased mom most recently filed sept 25…in family court. ..it is a shame…the young girl her mom killed by the father. ..hope it is the maternal grandparents that have her

  • tony

    as growing up in the city of Chicago i seen so many people getting killed ect thats why i move out to Wisconsin so my kids have a better chance at life and not see things i did as i kid i heart and thoughts go out to all people in this case there is no winners

  • joe

    Diane you need a life. Nothing has even connected the father to the murders but you comment as if that is the case. Maybe the neighbor was selling drugs and something went wrong. The girl probably was already with the grandparents. Plus if the father did it, why didn’t he run and not willingly help poilice?

  • diane

    Read the . Other. .news reports…the person. In custody is Nicholas..the girls father….innocent until proven guilty I apologize…for that. Nothing else…

  • diane

    Also jo…it even states in another news. Article.the. suspect in custody bis rhe girls father who an few. Days. Ago had filed for divorce with his wife who is now dead….sorry if I just was stating what was released in the press…apology excepted

  • joe

    Sorry Diane but your typing errors just confused me more. If you read between the lines the girl and father (Nick) were at the same house this morning. It might have saved her life being with him. Maybe he filled divorce to save his daughter from a bad home with the mother. It is sad that the girl lost her mother so horribly but think if she was killed in the whole deal.

  • diane

    The amber alert was for the fathers vehicle. ..the person arrested is the father….read the other articles….domestic..violence gone wrong. ..it will play out in court….irregardless…hope the little girl didnt witness anything. ..

  • diane

    Reporter..tom Murray tmj4..suspect in custody is the girls father….just in case you want to get the story….per the Berlin police. ..in cooperation with Marquette county. …just an fyi

    • joe

      You still don’t get the fact that they we’re all at the grandparents. Why would he shoot his wife the go home to mom’s house and sleep till the cops got there. The amber alert was on him and his car, probaly only because he was the only lead the cops in the small town had. Bet they didn’t even check the grandparents house before issuing the amber alert. If he was sleeping I bet he was home at the time they issued the alert, the same alert that the police are back peddling on.. Oh don’t use the girls name/ face any more oops you already did for the amber. I have all the info FYI…

  • diane

    It is an adverb (non standard)..can be used in replace of regardless….so anyway…just as long as the young one is safe…and if tried and found guilty the man arrested..is put away forever…

  • joe

    It’s sad …….if a woman supposedly shot the man its questioned…. but if a man supposedly shot a woman… Its fact. The media doesn’t have any facts… But when people build up the same speculation off the lack of… they fill in the blanks. Should have left it at prayers for the child

  • diane

    Joe…regardless… (so as not to confuse you)..most people have no sympathy for those who commit domestic violence..or murder…doesn’t matter their gender…prayer and peace for the young girl…no mercy for the murderer. ..and condolences to rhe victims families. ..may the maternal grandparents find peace with their granddaughter

  • joe

    How can I feel sympathetic or anger without facts. You base it’s domestic violence yet only the media has made that assumption. All murder is wrong, but we can’t always trust how the news spins something… Also Webster says to use regaurdless as the proper.
    Aleast I didn’t mention the father was in custody in five posts.

  • diane

    Also I read more than one news report & can combine all the information…it really wasn’t rocket science….again John…so sorry….and Mr Joe…what else is there to say …

  • Jayy

    Just amazes me how I dont see any “lock that animals up” comments like if this happened in Milwaukee. Instead I see “pray for the community” yada yada which is fine because its needed. Well, Ill say it!!!! Hopefully the biological dad had nithing to do with this but if he did, “lock that animal up and throw away the key.” I’m soooooo happy the little girl was not injured but sad she ha lost her mother.

  • diane

    Joe you had all the facts wrong. .and I posted much earlier no mercy for the murderer. ..and charges are to be filed against the father. .per this morning’s news. ..and all posts were concerned. .and u didn’t think he had any thing to do with it……

    • Joe

      the only fact I stated was they all were at the grandparents. They rest was speculation, I didn’t’ need to post what the news already said. The only reason I did is because you stated the mother was killed by the father in your 2nd post. When nothing has been proved to make that fact.

  • bderk.

    Jayy.. u are so correct on your statement. If this was in Milwaukee we would have all the haters up in arms. Praying for the entire family of all involved. we all need to wait for the investigation to be over with before placing blame! GOD BLESS!

  • Jay Man

    I’m sorry to hear of any senseless death and am happy the child was found safe. When I first heard the amber alert on my phone I thought the house was burning down! What the heck! I never heard that sound come from a phone before! That could cause an accident when someone tries to shut the phone up while driving. Plus give someone a heart attack!
    A regular text would be good enough.
    Prayers to the family.

  • diane

    Jayy.joe and others..fact is that nicholas tuinstra.has been arrested and now charged with the horrific murders in Berlin….prayers for the victims families. .and of course for his daughter. ..no mom…and at the hands of your father….; (

  • diane

    Certainly hope the child welfare service doesnt allow the paternal grandparents to keep the child after all they were harboring a murderer…how can they be good for her when it is their son that killed her mother!!!!! Melissa’s family needs to take care of her dtr….poor little girl

  • diane

    Domestic violence at its worst…wasn’t too difficult to put two and two together…even after a family friend had first hand knowledge…the greatest tragedy. ..is the young girl…and why would his parents …who they found him and the child with..wouldn’t one think they would have suspected something?….too bad Wisconsin doesnt have the death penalty..and court was this afternoon. ..too officially charge him….congrats to the investigators…and hope the family court decides that Melissa’s family gets custody of her dtr and not the murderer’s parents….

  • Mason M

    Im suprised a bigger variety of people arent commenting on a situation that woke up an entire county if not more on there cell phones late at night.

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