Officer says K-9 hit on Zocco’s bed, mop, garbage chute, shovel after Dwyer’s disappearance

Kris Zocco

MILWAUKEE -- A cadaver dog handler testified Tuesday, Oct. 2 during the trial for Kris Zocco, charged in connection with the death of Kelly Dwyer, that a dog found evidence of a body at Zocco's apartment on Milwaukee's east side -- but was it enough to convince a jury that Dwyer was murdered?

Dwyer disappeared in October of 2013 -- last seen in surveillance video walking into Zocco's apartment. She was never seen leaving. Her remains were found 19 months later in Jefferson County. Zocco faces three charges in Dwyer's death -- first degree reckless homicide, hiding a corpse, strangulation and suffocation, filed in May of 2017. Additionally, he faces one count of felony intimidation of a witness, after Zocco's former cellmate told police Zocco tried to arrange a "hit" on an ex-girlfriend.

Officer Carren Corcoran

Officer Carren Corcoran, K-9 handler for the Madison Police Department testified Tuesday about what her dog, Molly, found -- as two different scenarios of how Dwyer died were described in court. This, after the Jefferson County medical examiner testified Monday a cause of death couldn't be determined.

Questioning in court: "Can you tell me, Dr. Peterson, if someone is say, bound or tied up, or in a position where they may not be able to move their body if they needed to to avoid further having their airway further compressed, would that compound the likelihood that a person could die of an asphyxia-related cause if pressure is applied to cover the nose and mouth or stop the flow of blood to the brain?"

Dr. Brian Peterson

"There is literature that, at least in some papers, have been described as dangerous, at least to respiration. One of them is being hog tied," said Dr. Brian Peterson, Milwaukee County medical examiner.

Zocco is accused of killing Dwyer during a violent sex act. His lawyer argued it could have been something else.

Questioning in court by Zocco's lawyer: "This could be consistent with a homicide right?"

"It could," said Dr. Peterson.

Questioning in court: "It could be consistent with an accidental death, correct?"

"It could," said Dr. Peterson.

Questioning in court: "And within accidental death -- is overdose included in that category for you?"

"It is," said Dr. Peterson.

Kris Zocco, Kelly Dwyer

Officer Corcoran said her cadaver dog Molly hit on a shovel while searching Zocco's apartment shortly after Dwyer went missing.

"It looked like she detected human remains on a shovel. Not the handle -- the other portion, and it was leaning up against a wall in the room," said Corcoran.

Corcoran said Molly also hit on a garbage chute, Zocco's bed and a Swiffer mop in Zocco's apartment.

The dog's accuracy was questioned by the defense.

Zocco is already serving 19 years in prison on unrelated drug and child pornography convictions.