Search for answers continues in UW-Whitewater student’s death

Student's body was found at Whitewater Limestone Quarry
Search for answers continues in UW-Whitewater student’s death

The search for answers continues after a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student’s body was found in a quarry last weekend.

New surveillance video shows Ben Fuder drinking at a bar the night he disappeared. One of the owners of the Hawk’s Nest in downtown Whitewater said the 21-year-old was dancing and drinking with friends Friday night, what the owner called typical college student behavior.

But Matthew Golden said he had a strange encounter with Fuder at one point in the night. “I saw him again around 12:30 (a.m.) or so and he approached me and then he stopped. He turned the other way and started sprinting off into the distance — just kind of unusual behavior, nothing like I’d really seen before,” Golden said.

Meanwhile, Fuder’s death is leaving his family with more questions than answers.

Fuder’s body was found at Whitewater Limestone Quarry last weekend.

“We have questions about everything surrounding this, but there is an investigation on going, and we’re going to let the professionals do their job,” said his father, Brad Fuder.

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After visiting the limestone quarry on Franklin Street, Brad Fuder said it’s not clear how his son ended up there, a mile from his house.

“We went to the bottom of the quarry. The guy was very good about showing us where they found Ben. Then we came up to the top here to the access road and tried to put some pieces together ourselves, and it raised more questions. The young man that died last year raises more questions,” Brad Fuder said.

Fuder’s body hasn’t been he only one found at Whitewater Quarry. Another dead UW-Whitewater student was discovered in May 2011 at that Franklin Street facility, which is just outside the Whitewater city limits.

The Walworth County sheriff said there are no connections in the cases so far, but it is something he plans to look into as the investigation continues. He said it seemed like there was no one with Fuder at the quarry.

Ben Fuder’s brother, Joshua, said he suspects someone may have contributed to his brother’s death.

“Ben was a very happy, energetic young man that seems to have been a target of some sick individual or individuals,” Joshua Fuder said.

From the Highway 12 bypass a large fence is visible around the quarry, but Ben Fuder’s brother Shane said to get to the location where Fuder was found, he would’ve had to navigate Franklin Street, which has no street lights, go down a gravel road and through thick bushes.

“I’m determined to make a change around here as far as cameras blocking off this maintenance road. Something, even lights on the street — something,” Shane Fuder said. “What’s keeping me positive is I think the community will step up and do something.”

While Shane Fuder is working with local businesses, his father is passing along a message to students about the dangers of walking home along.

“Tell your kids don’t travel alone, travel in packs. If you are in the bar, watch your drinks. If you set them down, keep an eye on your drinks all the time. You don’t know what could happen. Somebody could spike their drink or whatever,” Brad Fuder said. “My main purpose here is to get the message out about safety. We miss our boy and we don’t want anyone to go through what we’re going through.”

The toxicology report isn’t expected for several more weeks.

The Walworth County sheriff said the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency line at 262-741-4400.  

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