A Wisconsin man who allegedly killed his father and dismembered the body has officially been charged with murder, authorities said.
Chandler Halderson, 23, who was being held on suspicion of murder in the death of his father, Bart Halderson, faces charges of intentional homicide, false information on a kidnapped or missing person, mutilating a corpse, and hiding a corpse.
On July 8, Bart Halderson’s remains were found at a private property in the village of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. An autopsy later confirmed the dead man’s identity. The 50-year-old died of “homicidal violence including firearm injury,” according to a medical examiner’s report.
Chandler Halderson was seen by a witness “reversing his vehicle with the rear hatch open in a field near a wooded area” in close proximity to where Bart Halderson’s remains were found, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com.
Chandler Halderson’s girlfriend reportedly lives at the Cottage Grove property where the body was found, according to the criminal complaint, WKOW reported. The girlfriend’s mother also told investigators she saw him on her property with a knife and scissors.
Bart Halderson, 50, and his wife, Krista Halderson, 53, were originally reported missing by their son on July 7.
The 23-year-old son originally told law enforcement he saw his parents leave with an “unknown acquaintance” in the early morning hours of July 1. He said they’d left to travel to the family’s cabin in White Lake, Wisconsin.
Chandler Halderson claimed his mother, Krista, texted him on July 4 and confirmed they’d arrived at the cabin, and were planning on attending a parade that day. Detectives, however, later disproved Halderson’s alleged chain of events. There was no parade scheduled, detectives said, who also spoke with neighbors and visited the Halderson’s cabin. Authorities ultimately determined the couple hadn’t traveled to White Lake at all.
Following Halderson’s arrest, and the discovery of Bart Halderson’s remains, law enforcement canvased a number of areas. On July 14, additional human remains were found near Sauk City, Wisconsin. Those remains haven’t yet been positively identified. However, a witness told detectives he saw a man matching Chandler Halderson’s description near the site of the discovery. Krista Halderson is still listed as missing.
“At this moment we are optimistic that Krista is still alive and well and we will let the evidence from our investigation tell us otherwise,” Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett said this week, according to ABC News.
Detectives are still scouring the Wisconsin couple’s home for possible evidence.
“Once again, our priority is to provide the Halderson family with answers and to give them peace and closure to this tragic event,” the Dane County Sheriff’s Office added in a statement on Thursday. “We have them in our thoughts every day.”
The case remains open and ongoing. The Dane County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Friday.
Chandler Halderson is being held at Dane County detention center, according to online jail records. He’s being held on a $1 million bail. His next court hearing is scheduled for July 28 at 2:30 p.m.
Catherine Dorl, Halderson’s public defender, meanwhile asked for the public’s patience as the case proceeded.
“We are working very hard to help Mr. Halderson as we respond to these charges,” Dorl, Halderson’s public defender, told Oxygen.com. “He is young and inexperienced with the criminal justice system. At this point I ask that people keep an open mind and stay tuned as the case develops.”