‘I felt like I needed to do something:’ Brother of Chandler Halderson testifies in homicide trial

MADISON, Wis. — The brother of Chandler Halderson says he wasn’t very worried about his parents’ whereabouts until Chandler himself said he was concerned.

Testifying in his brother’s homicide trial Tuesday morning, Mitchell Halderson said it was not like his parents to go up to their cabin in Langlade County on 4th of July weekend without saying something to him, but his concern grew when Chandler said he still hadn’t heard from them by the time he claimed they would be back.

Mitchell described Krista Halderson as a “helicopter parent,” and said she would have let him know if they were leaving town.

“My mom would reach out any chance she could, so she would’ve told me,” Mitchell Halderson said.

Touring the Langlade Co. cabin

Mitchell testified that by that point, none of his messages to his parents were being returned and his calls were going straight to voicemail. He says that got him concerned to the point of driving nearly three hours to the family’s cabin, taking a tour around the property with members of the Langlade County Sheriff’s Department.

“I wanted to do something myself about it. I felt like I needed to do something,” Mitchell testified Tuesday.

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

In bodycam video played in court Tuesday, Mitchell Halderson and deputies found the cabin and boathouse locked, with overgrown vegetation outside. Authorities broke the locks with Mitchell Halderson’s permission to get inside, but did not find any sign that anyone had been there.

According to court documents, cabin neighbors would later tell authorities that they had not seen anyone on the property recently, contradicting Chandler Halderson’s claims that his parents were picked up to go there with a group of unknown friends.

Mitchell says he talked to a number of family friends that could have gone to the cabin with his parents, but none of them said they were the ones to leave with Bart and Krista.

“I had reached out to each one of those families and had heard back that none of them were the ones who had gone up north,” Mitchell testified.

Mitchell Halderson said his parents would have been the ones to drive to the cabin if they were taking friends since they knew the way. Both Bart and Krista Halderson’s vehicles were still in the garage of their Windsor home.

The phones of Bart and Krista Halderson were also eventually found by police, turned off and hidden inside the family’s home.

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Life insurance policy

Prosecutors also asked Mitchell Halderson about his parents’ life insurance policies. He said in the event both of his parents passed away, he and Chandler Halderson were in line to receive approximately $1 million in life insurance.

The amount has not been paid out yet, Mitchell Halderson said. It is unknown if the family’s home or cabin in Langlade County were part of the assets in line to go to the Halderson siblings.