A 23-year-old Wisconsin man who reported his parents missing last week has officially been charged with first-degree intentional homicide for his father’s death, authorities announced Thursday.
Chandler Halderson was arrested last week in connection with the disappearance of his parents, Bart and Krista Halderson, and now faces a slew of charges, including homicide, mutilation of a corpse, and hiding of a corpse, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office said.
“The defendant has taken steps to both destroy and conceal evidence, including human remains that were dismembered,” Dane County assistant district attorney Andrea Raymond said during a Thursday afternoon court hearing, where Halderson’s bail was set at $1 million. She said her office expects additional charges to be filed against Halderson.
“Because of the vast steps that this defendant has undertaken to hide his crimes and the broad spectrum of lies police have uncovered, there is substantial concern about his willingness to come to court.”
Halderson’s 50-year-old dad was found dismembered in the town of Cottage Grove last week. The medical examiner’s office confirmed Monday that preliminary results from an autopsy showed he died from homicidal violence including firearm injury.
Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett told reporters during a news conference Thursday that additional remains were found after a search in Sauk City on July 14, and that the medical examiner’s office was in the process of identifying those remains.
Investigators had followed a tip and obtained a photo that appeared to be of a man matching Halderson’s description who was spotted in that area, Barrett said.
On the morning of July 7, Halderson reported his parents missing, telling authorities he hadn’t seen them since July 1, when they left for a July 4 weekend away with an unknown couple at the family’s cabin in Whitelake, Wisconsin.
“They were picked up by their friends, who I never got the name of. I assumed it was someone I was aware of, like close neighbors of theirs up the street, or their best friends down on the east side,” Halderson told police.
The 23-year-old also claimed that his mom had texted him on July 4, saying they had planned to attend a local parade. But authorities ultimately determined there was no parade scheduled.
“There were no signs that any occupants or visitors had recently been at the cabin or on the cabin property. Investigation further revealed that witnesses placed Chandler Halderson at a known acquaintance address in the Town of Cottage Grove, reversing his vehicle with the rear hatch open in a field near a wooded area,” a probable cause statement filed July 9 reads. “After a consensual search of the area Chandler Halderson was observed in, a human torso was located within a short distance.”
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office told The Daily Beast on Thursday that while they believe Halderson killed his father, his 53-year-old mother's whereabouts remain unknown.