Wisconsin man who killed three of his own family members and a 24-year-old woman before taking his own life may have been trying to imitate abduction of Jayme Closs, say police
Ritchie German Jr., 34, killed three of his family members at their home in Lafayette, Wisconsin on or before Saturday
Ritchie whose family said had been suffering from bipolar disorder, shot and killed his 66-year-old mother, Bridget German, brother Douglas, 32, and his brother’s 8-year-old son Calvin Harris.
He then drove to another family’s home about 10 miles away in Lake Hallie where he shot and killed Laila Vang on Sunday
He used a shotgun to blast his way inside that home before killing 24-year-old Laile and wounding her parents Teng and Mai Chang Vang
Police believe the woman’s death has similarities to the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs from her family’s home in Barron, which is 45 miles away
Jayme’s attacker killed her parents in their home before abducting the teenager and holding her hostage for months before she managed to escape
Ritchie German Jr., 34, killed three of his family members – his mother, brother and 8-year-old nephew at their home in Lafayette, likely on or before Saturday morning,
On Sunday night, he drove about 10 miles to the Lake Hallie home of another family and shot them.
German blasted his way inside with a shotgun, before shooting dead 24-year-old Laile Vang and wounding her parents Teng and Mai Chang Vang. He then killed himself in the home, where several others were hiding, Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said at a news conference.
Investigators believe Vang’s death bore similarities to the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs from her family’s home in Barron, which is 45 miles away, in October 2018.
Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk revealed on Tuesday that German left his car running with items inside that suggested similarities to the Closs case.
Jayme’s attacker, Jake Patterson, killed her parents in her home before abducting the teenager and holding her hostage for months before she managed to escape.
Despite the apparent similarities in the attacks, Kowalczyk said authorities may never know exactly what led German to kill.
‘What was the motive? Why did this happen? I don’t have the answer,’ he said.
Authorities said German had traded text messages with Vang but she apparently didn’t know him.
He had texted her inquiring about a personal relationship, but she texted back ‘who is this? I don’t know you’.
The sheriff said there was no evidence German had ever met Vang.
German had earlier shot dead three members of his family at their Lafayette town house.
Kowalczyk said German’s mother was supposed to clock in at work at a grocery store on Lake Wissota on Saturday but didn’t call or show up. Later that evening, after the grocery store’s staff called inquiring about Bridget’s whereabouts, German called in and said his mother was sick and in the hospital..
Later Saturday when friends of his nephew arrived at the Lafayette home asking whether Calvin was home, German said that he was away shopping with his grandmother, Kowalczyk said.
Authorities went to the Lafayette home initially to inquire about why German’s brother’s car was at the Lake Hallie crime scene.
Police only found the bodies of his three relatives after first investigating the young woman’s slaying.
They had gone to the town house to inform them German had taken his own life in the attack.
German who occasionally lived with the family members he killed in Lafayette, late Sunday took his brother’s vehicle, left it running outside of the Lake Hallie home, shot the door in with a shotgun and started shooting the family members he encountered, police said Tuesday.