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Lars Helgeson faces homicide charge in father's death

By Martha Boehm, mboehm@wkbt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:35:42 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 02 2013 09:25:56 AM CDT

Jackson County Sheriff's Office

Lars Helgeson

JACKSON COUNTY, WI -

Brian Helgeson, 57, died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to recently released autopsy results.

Brian’s 20-year-old son Lars Helgeson faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says Lars also faces a theft charge for stealing a car.

Brian’s body was found buried on the family’s property Wednesday evening in the Township of Hixton. Authorities believe the incident happened at about 10-11 days ago.

A probable cause affidavit has been filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, which will authorizes authorities to keep Lars in custody until charges are brought by the District Attorney's Office. There is no word on when those charges will be filed at this time.

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The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says they found a body they believe is Brian Helgeson, the man who has been missing for more than a week, buried in a wooded area on the family’s property in the Township of Hixton.

Authorities arrested Lars Helgeson, Brian’s 20-year-old son Wednesday night. He now faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge.

On Monday, neighbors of Brian's went to his home to check on him after a week or more of unreturned calls. Neighbor Lynn Wilkinson said they found a dark house and Lars crouching down in the kitchen, hiding. While they were able to coax him out of the house, a visibly shaken Lars was unable to answer questions as to the whereabouts of his father.

Wilkinson said she then called another son of Brian, who contacted police.

Jackson County deputies spent days searching the area. Other neighbors said they were blindsided by the tragedy.

"You don't know what to expect," Mary Duerkop, another neighbor of Brian's, said. "We just thought he was missing. You certainly wouldn't think something like that would've happened."

"Brian would do anything for anybody," Wilkinson said. "It makes no sense that he's gone. None at all."

On Wednesday afternoon, authorities believe they spotted Lars running from a stolen vehicle near CTH P and Lincoln Road in the Springfield Township in Jackson County. Authorities from the Trempealeau County Sheriff's office, the Blair Police Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Wisconsin Department of Justice helped search that area.

A local farmer told the Sheriff's Office that he found what he believed to be a juvenile in the area of Lowes Creek Road and Green Acres Road. Lars was spotted with his hands raised in the air. He was unarmed and was arrested without incident.

Investigators later developed information that Lars Helgeson had shot and killed his father and that he had buried his father's body on the farm property. Law enforcement found the body around 6 p.m. after locating recently disturbed dirt and heavy earth moving equipment was summoned to the scene.

Authorities have not been able to identify the body yet because they believe he was there for 10-11 days. They are awaiting autopsy results.

The Sheriff’s Office would not comment on Lars’ mental stability, but they had said earlier in the investigation that he was possibly mentally unstable.

Lars also faces a theft charge. Lars' court date has not been set yet.

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