‘It’s extremely brutal homicide and very calculated’: Dane County Sheriff again asks for public’s help with homicide investigation

A police vehicle is seen on County Road JG

The Dane County Sheriff is continuing to encourage the public to come forward with any information they might have about a homicide in the Town of Blue Mounds.

On Wednesday a runner’s body was found off County Highway JG near the border of the Town of Vermont.

“It’s extremely brutal homicide and very calculated,” said Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

The case was originally thought to be a hit-and-run due to the situation in which the victim’s body was found, but autopsy results showed instead the victim died from “homicidal violence.” Mahoney declined to release more details on the cause as to not compromise the investigation in its early stages.

Mahoney said he has a large number of detectives and support staff investigating the leads that are coming in, but he encouraged the public to let them know anything they might know about the case.

“We would rather get 100 of the same tip than someone pass on giving us a call,” he said.

On Thursday the county medical examiner identified the victim as 26-year-old Nicholas Day. Witnesses saw him running near Mount Horeb between 12:45 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. He was found in the early afternoon wearing his running clothes, according the sheriff’s office.

Day’s family described him as an amazing father and a kind soul who would help anyone who needed it. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years. His friend set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help the family cover funeral costs that has brought in thousands.

“I’m hoping (the family has) a significant support network,” Mahoney said. “No individual and no family should have to be faced with this type of crime.”

The public can call in tips to the Dane County Communications Center non-emergency line at 608-255-2345 or the Dane County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 608-284-6900. Callers can remain anonymous.