Mahoney: ‘Great deal of progress’ made on homicide case

More than 100 people interviewed
Mahoney: ‘Great deal of progress’ made on homicide case
Cheryl Gilberg

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said a great deal of progress has been made in the investigation of a homicide in Mazomanie.

Mahoney said on Friday that more than 100 people had been interviewed as part of the investigation into the death of Cheryl Gilberg, who was found dead Sunday. He said more than two-thirds of the department’s investigative staff is involved in the case.

Mahoney said they’ve received numerous leads, some resulting from media coverage of the case. They’ve also received calls from people who knew Gilberg. He said he believes the homicide is not a random act and there’s no danger to the public.

Deputies were called to 306 Scott St. at 7:10 p.m. Sunday for a report of an injured woman. Gilberg was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gilberg’s family is gathering this weekend, Mahoney said.

Phillip A. Byrd, 39, of Janesville, was questioned as a person of interest in the case. Mahoney would not comment on the results of their interview of Byrd. He said no charges are pending. Byrd is being held in the Rock County Jail on charges of bail-jumping and drug possession.

According to a criminal complaint, a prescription amphetamine pill bottle prescribed to Gilberg was found alongside prescriptions belonging to Byrd during the home search.

Mahoney would not comment on the type of weapon used or if a weapon was found.

Officers canvassed an area along Highway 14 east of Black Earth looking for evidence on Thursday.

Mahoney said there was a history of domestic violence at the home, and that Gilberg filed for a restraining order last week. Court records show she filed it against a former or current live-in boyfriend, and it was scheduled to go to court Wednesday. Mahoney wouldn’t say if that man is being questioned.

Mahoney said there were incidents Gilberg reported within the last month, but he made it clear that there is nothing definitively linking her death to domestic violence at this point in the investigation.

Officials said Byrd was not the man Gilberg filed a temporary restraining order against, and was not involved in an alleged December domestic violence incident.

He said Gilberg owned the house, and was the only person living there at the time of the incident. Gilberg was found by a family member who was checking on her.