Police say they are continuing to investigate two deaths last week in the Janesville area, and are asking for the public’s help in putting together timelines of the incidents.
Detectives are continuing to work on a timeline around the homicide of Britney Cross on May 5, Janesville Police Chief David Moore said during a press conference Monday.
Police are particularly interested in Cross’ activities prior to her death, and the suspect in the case, Clayton Courtney, Moore said.
There has been a development in the investigation into Courtney’s statement about having killed three people the night of May 4 when he stabbed someone, officials said. Originally the stabbing victim, Michael Clark, told police Courtney said, “I have killed three people tonight and we are all going to die.” In a follow-up interview with police, Clark said Courtney actually said, “I have killed three people, we are all going to die tonight.”
Moore said the change of time reference in that statement moves their investigation to a much wider timeline, because it changes his claim to having killed people in general and not on a specific night.
“We had an individual in this community who said he killed three people. We found one woman dead down by the Rock River, and we had two people missing by the Rock River over the period of four days,” Moore said.
Police are focusing on two specific time frames in the investigation into Cross’ death, Courtney’s claims and the death of a 75-year-old woman, Mary Coulthard. They are specifically looking at 8 p.m. on May 2 to 7 a.m. on May 3, which is the time police believe Mary Coulthard went missing. They are also focusing on 5-10 p.m. on May 4, which is the time frame that Cross was killed.
Moore said police are looking for any suspicious activities during that time frame, but because of the change in what Courtney allegedly said the night of the stabbing, they would also like to hear about anything suspicious over the last several years.
Officials also said they are continuing to investigate Coulthard’s death, whose body was found in the Rock River on Friday.
An autopsy revealed that Coulthard had sustained an injury prior to drowning, but Moore would not elaborate on the type of injury.
Investigators believe personal items were missing from Coulthard's purse that was found on Jackson Street, Moore said. The purse was been sent away for DNR analysis.
Moore said they are interested in hearing from anyone in the community who hears someone talking about injuring someone or taking a purse.
Investigators have not been able to prove Courtney and Coulthard crossed paths, and they seem to be two different instances, Moore said. Police do not have any conclusive evidence to rule Coulthard’s death a crime, an accident or a suicide.
“Some people think that she committed suicide. She wouldn’t commit suicide because she was very religious and that’s against religion to commit suicide,” said Ken Leuzinger, who has lived in the same building as Coulthard for years. “I have a feeling that there is something more to it.”
Moore said police have received about 70 tips about these investigations.