A neighbor, pastor and a law enforcement representative are among the five or six speakers Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff said he expects will address community members at Sunday night's candle-light vigil honoring the sisters prosecutors say a former Dane County sheriff’s deputy murdered.
“There will also be some music that will be sung as well,” Pfaff said of the vigil scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. near where one of the sisters lived, at the southeast corner of Rosecommons Park at Langford and Rosecommon terraces.
On Friday afternoon, former Dane County Deputy Andy Steele, 39, was formally charged with murdering his 39-year-old wife Ashlee Steele and her 38-year-old sister Kacee Tollefsbol.
Tollefsbol's uncle, Dan Dupuis, said she was visiting her sister and brother-in-law from Minnesota to offer moral support since Andy Steele had resigned from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office after an ALS diagnosis. He was involved in ice bucket challenge events before his arrest. Steele's attorney said she does not think recent publicity about his ALS diagnosis was a factor in the shootings.
The criminal complaint says when officers arrived at the Steele’s home on Friday Aug. 22, they found Tollefsbol alive, inside a basement door. The court documents detail Tollefsbol telling officers, in a 911 call and later in person, that her brother-in-law had shot her. She was later pronounced dead at UW Hospital.
Officers said they found Ashlee Steele in bed, with a gunshot wound to her head, and a pillow with a hole in it.
According to the complaint, officers found Andy Steele lying in the laundry room with the dryer vented into the room, a gun on the floor and a charcoal grill burning. He was reportedly "alert and resistive" toward the officers.
On the morning of the homicides, Ashlee Steele’s sister-in-law told police she had missed Ashlee's call about an ice bucket challenge event at 9:45 a.m. She said she tried calling Ashlee back at 10:14 a.m. and 10:25 a.m., but did not receive an answer. She told officers it was uncharacteristic for Ashlee not to answer her phone.
Sunday night’s candle light vigil will be open to the public.
Dupuis said the family's main priority is taking care of the six children who lost their mothers.
A more formal service honoring the two women’s lives is being planned at Fitchburg’s The Church at Christ Memorial, where Ashlee Steele was a staff member.