34-year-old Wisconsin man, who murdered three of his own family members and a 24-year-old woman before he took his own life, may have tried to imitate Jayme Closs's kidnapping, police say
- Ritchie German Jr., 34, killed three of his family on Sunday at their home in Lafayette, Wisconsin
- He then went to the home of another family, about 16 km away in Lake Hallie
- He used a shotgun to fire into his house before killing 24-year-old Laile Vang and injuring her parents Teng and Mai Chang Vang
- Police believe the death of the woman has similarities to the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs from her family's home in Barron, 45 miles away
- Jayme's attacker killed her parents at home before she abducted the teenager and held her hostage for months before she managed to escape
- German had previously shot his mother, brother and eight-year-old cousin
Ritchie German Jr., 34, is believed to have killed three of his relatives and later killed a 24-year-old woman in another house in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on Sunday.
A man from Wisconsin suspected of killing four people before taking his own life may have tried to mimic the kidnapping of teenage Jayme Closs by paving his way to the home of a family he didn't know.
Ritchie German Jr., 34, murdered three of his family members at their home in Lafayette on Sunday before moving to the home of another family about 10 miles away at Lake Hallie.
He used a gun to shoot into his house before he shot and wounded a couple, Teng and Mai Chang Vang, and killed their 24-year-old daughter, Laile Vang.
He then committed suicide.
Investigators believe Vang's death was similar to the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs from her family's home in Barron, 45 miles away, in October last year.
Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk announced on Tuesday that German had his car running with items in it that indicated similarities with the Closs case.
They would not comment on what the items were.
Jayme & # 39; s attacker Jake Patterson killed her parents in her house before she kidnapped the teenager and held her hostage for months before she managed to escape.
German used a shotgun to shoot into the house of the 24-year-old woman at Lake Hallie around 10.30 pm before shooting and injuring her parents. He then took his own life into the house
Researchers believe that the death of the woman is similar to the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs from her family's home in Barron in October last year. Jayme & # 39; s attacker Jake Patterson killed her parents in their home before kidnapping the teenager
Despite the clear similarities in the attacks, Kowalczyk said that the authorities may never know exactly what German led to kill.
& # 39; What was the motive? Why did this happen? I have no answer, & he said.
Authorities said German had exchanged text messages with Vang, but she apparently didn't know him.
He had sent her a text message asking about a personal relationship, but she is texting & back 39 who is this? I don't know you & # 39 ;.
The sheriff said there was no evidence that German had ever met Vang.
German had previously shot his 66-year-old mother, Bridget German, his 32-year-old brother, Douglas German, and his brother's 8-year-old son, Calvin Harris, in their mansion in Lafayette.
The police found the bodies of his three family members only after she had first investigated the killing of the young woman.
They had gone to the mansion to tell them that German had taken his life in the attack.
Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk (above) revealed Tuesday that German had exchanged text messages with the woman he had killed, but she apparently did not know him
The German occasionally lived with the relatives he killed in Lafayette, according to the authorities.
The sheriff described him as & # 39; a loner and wanderer & # 39; who was often unemployed.
Investigators have not yet established a motive for the murders.
The attacker's father, Ritchie German Sr., told the Star Tribune that he was shocked to hear of the murders and that his son had struggled with a mental illness – possibly bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
He said his son lived with him from 2005 to 2014 and during that time worked for only one year in a Menards warehouse.
He said his son stayed in his bedroom most of his time.
& # 39; I told his mother to help him & # 39 ;, said the German Sr., who had been alienated from his wife since his divorce in 2015.
German Sr. said his son once pulled a shotgun on his brother in about 2005 or 2006, but no one was hurt.
He was sentenced to probation after being released from prison by his father.
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