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Wisconsin Victims

Report on Winnebago County mom who murdered son released

Gannett Wisconsin Media • May 30, 2008  


APPLETON — An Outagamie County child protection investigation determined that Brenda Thiel’s children weren’t in danger less than a month before 2½-year-old Caleb Thiel’s death.
The county’s Health and Human Services Department today issued a written summary of its investigation of Brenda Thiel. According to the county, Thiel and the children were living in separate homes at the time of its April 10 investigation into a report that Thiel had expressed thoughts of harming her children.

Thiel, 27, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Winnebago County in connection to the May 5 death of her son. Thiel suffocated the child at their home on Adams Street in Neenah, according to the criminal complaint. She then told her mother what she had done, and her mother called police.

Thiel heard voices telling her to harm the child for days prior to Caleb’s suffocation, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Outagamie County investigated Thiel on April 10 based on a referral from Winnebago County.

Winnebago County referred the case because Thiel was one of its employees.

A caller contacted Winnebago County on March 31. The caller, when interviewed by an Outagamie County official, said that the children were living with Thiel’s father and stepmother while Thiel was living with her mother. Thiel had no unsupervised visits with the children, the caller said.

“Given that conclusion, a child protection supervisor ‘screened out’ the referral as not needing any further investigation,” the document states.

Thiel moved back with her children on April 27, according to the summary.

The Health and Human Services Department received no further contact about the Thiels until after Caleb’s death, they report.

According to the summary, the Thiel family had not received Outagamie County services in the past, nor had the county heard any complaints or reports of child abuse prior to the April 10 investigation.

Brenda Thiel is being held in the Winnebago County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond.

Rest in Peace

Deaths of 6 appear to be murder-suicide

Children's uncle escaped, 911 recording reveals

Posted: June 12, 2007

Evidence at the scene of a grisly slaying in Delavan suggests that the deaths of six people, including twin baby boys, was a murder-suicide involving the children's parents, authorities said Monday afternoon.

Investigators were still waiting Monday for findings from autopsies, DNA evidence and ballistics testing, and while officials have not ruled anything out, it appears five people were gunned down Saturday night before their killer committed suicide.

The Delavan Police Department, state Department of Justice and Walworth County district attorney's office did not release details of the crime, didn't discuss a motive and did not reveal what kind of firearm was used in the slayings.

The dead were identified as Nicole Marie McAffee, 19; her twin infant sons, Argenis and Isaiah Analco; her sister, Ashley Lynn Huerta, 21; and Huerta's friend Vanessa Iverson, 19. All are believed to have been shot by Amborosio Analco, 23, who apparently then took his own life.

Analco was McAffee's ex-boyfriend, police said. Court records identify him as the father of the twins, who were born Dec. 12, and a 1 1/2 -year-old girl, Jasmine, who was also shot but survived.

Analco's cousin, Marco Pastrana, said Sunday that Analco had been at his house with the three children Saturday night and left about 9 p.m. to return them to their mother.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots, or what some thought were firecrackers, around 10:30 p.m. in the home in the 300 block of S. 2nd St. Police sent to the scene found the dead inside the home.

Jasmine Analco, who turns 2 in October, was discovered in a nearby van, critically wounded from a gunshot to the chest. She was taken to University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, where she was in good condition Monday, said Delavan Police Chief Timothy O'Neill.

On a 911 recording released Monday afternoon, Gaspar Huerta, 27, who lived in the home with his wife and McAffee, tells a dispatcher that he escaped by the roof when Analco turned up and "started shooting everybody."

At a short news briefing authorities held Monday in a Delavan Common Council conference room, Several relatives of the victims gathered to hear the scant information. Afterward, an aunt of McAffee and Huerta said her family was devastated.

"The pain is overwhelming," said Karen "Dee Dee" Sittler, who lives in Elkhorn. "This will leave a huge void in our lives. It is overwhelming to lose four family members in one night."

Gaspar Huerta's older brother, Victor, said Monday afternoon that his brother jumped out a window when he heard gunshots. Investigators were searching the roof of the duplex Monday for evidence.

"He's been crying a lot, and he's very depressed," Victor Huerta said of his brother.

Victor Huerta, 34, said McAffee and Ashley Huerta told him Saturday night that Analco had threatened McAffee and told her that if he caught her with another man he would kill her and their children. Victor Huerta said Analco had previously threatened McAffee, and the sisters were worried because Analco had a gun.

Those touched by the tragedy added Monday morning to an impromptu memorial around a tree in front of the house with wreaths, stuffed animals, photos of Iverson and signs.

On Iverson's page, she wrote that she was the proud parent of a "beautiful little girl and handsome little boy" who enjoyed spending time with her children, singing, shooting pool and hanging out with her friends and family. She was visiting Huerta when she was shot to death, her mother, Kay Macara, said Sunday.

The two-story house where the killings occurred is in a quiet neighborhood only two blocks from the police department in Delavan, a city of about 8,000 in central Walworth County about 40 miles southwest of Milwaukee. McAffee lived in the house with her children, her sister and her husband.

According to online Wisconsin court records, Analco had only minor brushes with law enforcement, including tickets for speeding in 2002, driving with a suspended license in 2005 and driving without a valid license in 2006. In 2005 he was the subject of a child support action McAffee initiated in Walworth County.

In that case, a judge ordered but stayed a six-month jail sentence for Analco on March 16 for failing to pay child support. He was ordered to pay $442 per month for all three children but owed about $4,100 in birth expenses for Jasmine, according to court records.

Analco's first name is spelled three ways in court records: Ambrosio, Argenis and Aguenis. Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said Analco, who was born in Mexico, had a Social Security card, but Koss did not know if he was a U.S. citizen.

The slayings and suicide fit the profile of what the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center calls a "family annihilator" - someone who kills his wife or girlfriend and children as well as other family members before killing himself.

A study of reported murder-suicides in 2005 by the Violence Policy Center showed that 94% of the offenders were male and 92% involved a firearm, while three-quarters of murder-suicides occur in the home. The center estimates that 1,200 people are killed each year in murder-suicides.

"Family annihilators" often feel overwhelmed by financial or domestic problems and decide to commit suicide, said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, "and the thought process is, 'I can't leave my family, they're better off dead with me.' "

"A lot of times it might not appear to neighbors or other family members that the stress would be that great," Rand added. "Oftentimes people say, 'Oh, I can't believe this would happen.' But it's how that person perceives the problem."

Rest in Peace

Mother Arrested in Baby's Death Click For Video!
Madison police have arrested a 23-year-old mother in connection with her six-week-old baby's death.

Ee Lee is tentatively charged with physical abuse of a child.

The Dane County Coroner says Lee's baby, Anastasia Vang, died of blunt force trauma.

Search Warrant documents state the child was brought from her home on Moorland Road July 11 without a pulse and not breathing.

Documents state the baby had a "possible skull fracture" and a number of bruises.

"Our investigation has found that those were injuries that are consistent with them being intentionally inflicted on this child," Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain told 27 News.

During a bail hearing Friday, Lee's bail was set at $50,000. She was also barred from any contact with another child, her two year old, who has been placed in protective custody.

Court documents also state Vang was hospitalized for child abuse injuries last month, released from a hospital, and ultimately ended up in her mother's care, despite suspicions her mother may have even abused her daughter during the infant's hospital stay.

Search warrant documents state Vang's parents brought the baby to Meriter Hospital June 26. Documents state the patient was transferred to UW-Hospital and examined by Dr. Barbara Knox. The documents state Knox found injuries "clearly indicative of child abuse." Authorities also quoted Knox as saying Vang was left alone in her hospital room with her mother for a portion of the night of June 27 and the child appeared to have new bruising the next morning.

UW-Hospital spokesperson Lisa Brunette said privacy laws prevent any comment on a specific case. But Brunette told 27 News in cases of child abuse, hospital staff diagnose and treat patients, and make recommendations. "They do not manage future care," Brunette said.

Dane County Human Services spokesman David Carlson has yet to return a call from 27 News on how department staff may have responded to the June abuse of the child.

Lee must still make an initial court appearance on criminal charges. Authorities said additional charges against Lee are being considered.

Updated: July 17, 2007, 10:09 am
Illegal immigrant fails to show in court on assault charges

Fox News talk show host blasts decision by commissioner

By Andy Nelesen

A 25-year-old illegal immigrant jumped bail Friday when he failed to show up to face accusations he molested a 12-year-old girl on several occasions last year.

Paulo Sheispan-Landero remained at large late Friday, having been released from custody Tuesday after posting $5,000 bail. He was arrested and booked New Year's Eve after the girl's mother alerted authorities.

Brown County Court Commissioner Jane Sequin on Friday revoked Sheispan-Landero's bond and issued a warrant for his arrest. Sheispan-Landero faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted on the lone count of first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13.

The case was the talk of the courthouse Friday after Fox News conservative talker Bill O'Reilly pounced on the case as part of his national broadcast Thursday.

O'Reilly blasted Brown County Court Commissioner Lawrence Gazeley's decision to set bail at $5,000, citing initial information from prosecutors that Sheispan-Landero had once been deported for other criminal acts and returned to the area within a week.

At the hearing Sheispan-Landero skipped Friday, Brown County Assistant District Attorney Tom Coaty said prosecutors had obtained ICE documents showing the defendant had never been deported, correcting erroneous information that originally came from the alleged victim's mother.

Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski on Friday said immigration officials confirmed that Sheispan-Landero was in the United States illegally.

Coaty also noted that Sheispan-Landero failed to appear for a hearing on a driving without a license charge Friday morning, prompting an arrest warrant in that case.

Leading up to Friday's sexual assault hearing, O'Reilly was, well, riled up.

"Well, if (Sheispan-Landero) doesn't show up then Gazeley's got to be fired, correct? Gazeley's got to be fired," O'Reilly said, as part of an on-air conversation with former Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher and Rod Wheeler, a Fox News criminal analyst.

"You got to fire a guy that gave (Sheispan-Landero) $5,000 bond right away," O'Reilly said. "Because the system is so corrupt and breaking down everywhere that I am going to make an example of this case."

O'Reilly also lambasted Brown County Circuit Court Judge William Atkinson, who has been assigned to hear the case but has yet to have any input on the file as is typical with a case at this stage of the game.

As part of his report, O'Reilly said he tried to contact Gazeley and Atkinson, but they wouldn't take his calls, accusing Gazeley of "hiding under his desk."

Atkinson, on Friday, said O'Reilly never called his office. However, the show's staff did apparently call the Brown County Clerk of Courts office, a distinct, separate office in the courthouse, Atkinson said.

Atkinson noted that even if O'Reilly had gotten him on the phone, ethical obligations would have precluded him from commenting on the case.

On Friday, in light of the O'Reilly factor, Atkinson contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and issued a "body-only" arrest warrant for Sheispan-Landero, meaning if that he is captured he is to be brought before Atkinson directly.

Gazeley was not available for comment Friday afternoon, but the same ethical issues would apply to Gazeley as apply to Atkinson.

Coaty said O'Reilly's flame of Brown County officials was "unseemly."

"It's odious to attack on something like this when you don't have all the facts," Coaty said.

Zakowski, a Republican and Coaty's boss, was angry that O'Reilly chose this case as fodder for his program.

"I think you have to know all the facts before you jump to conclusions," Zakowski said.

"The recommendation was based on what we knew … which was that (Sheispan-Landero) had been in the community for a period of time, he was working one, maybe two jobs, he had ties to the community, he had (a) girlfriend," Zakowski said. "He had a minor record … no other assaultive behavior and then you have the crime itself, which was a touching, a serious case. Based upon that information, we asked for a ($5,000) cash bond.

"It was within what we often see in a case like this."

"If you strip away this bad information about this deportation, then you would have a Hispanic male with little record," Zakowski said. "You're not going to get much more of a bond than that.

"That number was within the ballpark of what's reasonable."

Resi in Peace

JUNEAU, Wis. (AP) - A man convicted of fatally punching his 3-year-old foster son in May of 2005 faces 22 years in prison, plus 18 years of extended supervision.

Shane Marquardt of Waupun was sentenced in Dodge County Circuit Court.

The criminal complaint says the 33-year-old Marquardt told investigators he flew into a rage after Camron Gardner vomited in his bed during a nap, and he repeatedly punched the 3-year-old as well as 2-year-old Ethan Gardner in their stomachs.

Camron died several hours later. Ethan recovered.

Marquardt pleaded guilty in February to first-degree reckless homicide.

A charge of first-degree reckless injury was dismissed as part of a plea deal but read into the record at sentencing.


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