Analysts say phone of Chandler Halderson was tracked in areas where parents’ remains found

MADISON, Wis. — Analysts say cell tower records place the phone belonging to Chandler Halderson near where both of his parents’ remains were later found, possibly linking him to both crime scenes.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice was able to use data from U.S. Cellular to find the phone that Halderson used visited both the Town of Roxbury location near the Wisconsin River on July 3 — where Krista Halderson’s were later found — and the Cottage Grove farm on July 5 — where Bart Halderson’s remains were later found.

During testimony Wednesday, analysts from the DOJ played an animated map tracking the location of Chandler Halderson’s phone on July 3 from the Halderson’s home in Windsor as it traveled west, stopping in the Town of Roxbury location before heading up to the Devil’s Lake area and returning home.

Chandler Halderson’s phone was also verified to be in the Town of Roxbury at that same date and time using data from Snapchat’s location tracking feature.

Later that night, his phone was also recorded as receiving data from towers on the way up to the Portage area, where the phone was detected between 10:37 p.m. and 11:03 p.m. Previously in the trial, lead investigators in the case said that area was someplace they attempted to search after cadaver dogs detected something in the area, but dive teams had to be pulled out of the water before anything was found because the current of the Wisconsin River was too dangerous.

MORE: Full coverage of the Chandler Halderson homicide investigation and trial — live stream, previous stories, timelines and interviews

On July 5, the phone belonging to Chandler Halderson was tracked at the farm in Cottage Grove where Bart Halderson’s remains would be found three days later. That coincides with testimony from the mother of Halderson’s ex-girlfriend and her girlfriend who owns the property, who said Halderson visited at around that time. Snapchat records also recorded Halderson’s location on that property, very close to the area where Bart Halderson’s dismembered torso was discovered. Additionally, phone tower records show Halderson may have returned to the farm on July 7.

Chandler Halderson’s defense team stressed the point in cross-examination that investigators can’t say for certain who was using Chandler’s phone at those times, just that the phone was detected in those areas at those times.

Halderson Google account searched for news on dismembered bodies being found

In addition to phone tower data, investigators said they looked into the search history of the Google account associated with Chandler Halderson.

While many days of Google search history came up blank between July 1 and July 6 — indicating either no searches were made, or someone deleted the history — the account Halderson typically used searched for information on multiple police departments and police radio codes on July 7, as well as the address to the Cottage Grove farm. On July 8, the account’s history included Google searches for keywords including “body found wisconsin,” “wisconsin dismembered body found,” “dead body found in wisconsin,” as well as a court case involving a person named Peter Kupaza, who was convicted of killing and dismembering someone.

Based on the time of the Google searches, Halderson’s account would have been searching for news mentioning dismembered bodies hours before authorities would have known Bart and Krista Halderson were dismembered, as Bart’s remains weren’t found until later that day, and Krista’s remains wouldn’t be found for nearly a week.

Phone records show when Krista Halderson arrived home

A search of the data on the phone that belonged to Krista Halderson found that her activity stopped sometime on the night of July 1. Cell phone towers found she left home that morning before returning home at approximately 5:12 p.m.

That would be after she had texted Chandler asking how things were going, referencing a meeting he and Bart Halderson were supposed to have at Madison College that afternoon. Chandler had told her things were going well at about 2:34 p.m. The response to Krista came almost 25 minutes after Bart Halderson texted Chandler “I’m ready whenever you are.”

Chandler later sent another message to his mother saying he had an extra hour of work and asking her to stop on her way home to get soda.

“K I can :)” was the last text message prosecutors believe Krista Halderson ever sent.

4th of July text sent from inside Halderson home

Investigators were also able to use cell tower data to show Krista Halderson’s phone was turned off sometime before midnight on July 2, and was not turned back on until July 4, when it was on for just seven minutes.

During that time, Krista’s phone received a message from Chandler’s phone at 11:02 a.m. — almost immediately after it was turned on — saying “Hoping this goes through. I bet there’s a lot of people up there”followed by another text saying “making it hard to message.”

At 11:04 a.m., a message was sent from Krista’s phone back to Chandler’s phone, saying they made it safely to the cabin and were planning on going to a parade in White Lake that day. Krista’s phone was then turned off at about 11:09 a.m.

Cell tower data showed those messages to and from Krista’s phone came from the same area as Chandler’s phone at that time — the Halderson home in Windsor.

Krista’s phone, along with Bart’s, was later found wrapped in foil and stuffed inside a shoe hidden in the family’s garage.

“I spoke with Omar Jobe”

A search of the history on Bart Halderson’s phone also found messages to his son and other phone calls in the days leading up to his disappearance.

Detectives found Bart had called Madison College at about 2:04 p.m. on June 29, posing as Chandler as he talked to a representative named Omar Jobe for more than 19 minutes. During the call, which was recorded by Madison College, Jobe told Bart Halderson that he could find no record of any of the people Chandler claimed to talk to about his status at the college in their staff directory, meaning they did not work there.

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About an hour after that call, Bart confronted Chandler with a text message, saying only “I spoke with Omar Jobe” — something the prosecution argued in its opening statements that indicated Bart knew Chandler was lying about everything.

Copies of Bart Halderson’s Outlook calendar showed a meeting scheduled with Chandler for a couple of days later at about 3 p.m. on July 1 at Madison College.

Bart Halderson’s phone lost contact with all cell towers at about 2:33 p.m., indicating that was when it was turned off. Data from the Health app on Bart Halderson’s phone also indicates health data stopped being recorded sometime during the 2 p.m. hour on July 1.