Authorities exhume Beaver Dam murder victim’s body
News coverage led to legitimate tips in cold case
BEAVER DAM, Wis. — Authorities exhumed the body of a murder victim at the South Beaver Dam Cemetery Tuesday.
The exhumation was approved after new evidence was found in Curtis Wylesky’s killing that was nearly 14 years ago.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday’s reveal was one of only three or four in the past 20 years.
“In this case, there was just a bit of information that we needed to confirm,” Detective Lt. Roger Brandner said. “With new technologies and different things changing, this was needed.”
Doctors at the University of Wisconsin will perform a second autopsy Wednesday. They’ll compare it to the first one, after detectives received new information last summer.
“We’re looking at bones to see if there is any breakage of the bone that would help prove the theory of what happened here,” Brandner said.
What happened took place back on April 23, 2001. Wylesky was found in a ditch off Highway Z outside Fall River. His truck was nearby. It was clear the 42-year-old had been hurt. But the case went cold until July, when investigators announced a person of interest.
Ensuing media coverage by News 3 and others produced more legitimate tips, and led family members and investigators back to the cemetery. The exhumation isn’t required to make an arrest, but Brandner said it helps build the case against a suspect.
Wylesky’s family spoke exclusively with News 3 over the summer, but said they’re withholding comment until an arrest is made.
“It’s a good feeling, we’re able to close this out and bring closure to the family,” Brandner said. He said the sheriff’s office plans to arrest the suspect in the next couple of days.
Wylesky will be buried again Wednesday, after the autopsy.