New charges: Halderson searched for news about ‘dismembered body’ hours before law enforcement found father’s remains

MADISON, Wis. — New details in a criminal complaint filed against Chandler Halderson show the 23-year-old searched for news about a “dismembered body” being found hours before law enforcement discovered his father’s remains.

Halderson was officially charged Wednesday with a second count of first-degree intentional homicide for his mother Krista Halderson’s death. He was charged in his father Bart Halderson’s death in mid-July.

According to an amended criminal complaint, detectives obtained a search warrant for Halderson’s Google account to review searches from June 30 through July 8. The morning of July 8, Halderson searched for multiple phrases — including “Wisconsin dismembered body found,” “Woman’s body found in Wisconsin,” “Body found Wisconsin,” “Dead body found in Wisconsin,” and “Body found in Milwaukee River 2021” — all within roughly a minute.

At that point, authorities had not yet found either of his parents’ remains. Bart’s dismembered remains were found later that day, around 3 p.m., but that information wasn’t made public until July 12.

Evidence places Halderson on DNR land

The complaint also includes new evidence allegedly placing Halderson in the area where his mother’s remains were eventually found.

Detectives said photos and data obtained from Halderson’s girlfriend appear to show a map showing Halderson was in the Sauk City area around 9 a.m. on July 3. Following Halderson’s arrest on July 8, a woman told authorities she saw a man matching Halderson’s description in the same area the morning of July 3.

When detectives searched the area in question, they found two human legs, one of which had been cut into three pieces.

An autopsy and DNA testing later revealed the remains found on the DNR property belonged to Krista. According to the criminal complaint, the limbs had been severed from Krista’s body after she was killed.

Krista’s last known whereabouts and phone records

According to the complaint, detectives reviewed multiple surveillance cameras that showed Krista getting home from work the evening of July 1, the last day Bart and Krista were seen alive.

A detective said he spoke with Krista’s supervisor who said she left work that day shortly before 5 p.m. Surveillance footage from the Halderson’s neighborhood reportedly showed her getting home at 5:12 p.m.

Roughly three hours after Krista got home from work the Volvo that she was known to drive was seen backing out of the Halderson’s driveway at 8:16 p.m. Footage from a Kwik Trip in Windsor showed a dark colored Volvo arriving at 8:22 p.m. An unidentifiable man is then seen getting out of the car, entering the store and buying two bags of ice.

Police later obtained a receipt from the transaction and confirmed the card used belonged to Chandler Halderson.

Authorities also searched phone records for Bart, Krista, and Chandler’s phones. According to the complaint, the last activity from Krista’s phone was around 6:40 a.m. on July 2 until roughly 11 a.m. on July 4. Between those times, all incoming calls went to voicemail and no texts were delivered.

The records showed that Halderson then texted his mother’s phone just before 11:03 a.m. A message from Krista’s phone was then sent to Chandler just a minute later.

The messages from Krista’s and Chandler’s phones were both traced back to a cell tower in DeForest, Wisconsin.

Bart and Krista’s phones and ID cards were later found wrapped in foil and paper towel, stuffed in a pair of shoes hidden under a shelf in the family’s garage.

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Halderson is currently being held on $1 million cash bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 1 at 8:30 a.m.