2 Stillwater-area sisters killed in Wis. homicide

FITCHBURG, Wis. - A 39-year-old former sheriff's deputy has been arrested in connection with the death of his wife and her sister, both originally from Stillwater, Minn.

The man arrested is accused of killing his wife Ashlee Steele, 39, at their home and her sister Kacee Tollesbol, 38, of Lake Elmo. Autopsy results showed that both were the victim of "homicidal violence."

Fitchburg police said the husband was taken into custody at a local hospital where he was being treated for injuries after the deadly shooting.

Friends say the man recently went public with his battle with ALS and his wife Ashlee was his biggest advocate. She was behind a community fundraising effort page called "Tough as Steele" that since has been taken down.

"It breaks my heart that this is how it ended. I want people to know she was the driving force behind all of the support they've gotten. It is extremely difficult to not know the why, and I don't know that we ever will know the why," said Karen Hattenback, a co-worker and friend of Ashlee's said to NBC 15 in Madison.

Police first responded to the scene shortly after 12 p.m. on Friday.

"Upon arrival we found a female who was shot, and is now deceased... a second female was also located in the residence deceased," explained Lt. Todd Stetzter, of the Fitchburg Police Department.

At the time it was unsure whether the suspect was outside or inside the house, so officers geared up heavily. K9's and tactical units surrounded the area to search for the suspect.

"[He] was subsequently located in the residence," Stetzer said.

The investigation remains ongoing.

The uncle of the victims, Daniel Dupuis, issued a statement from Bradshaw Funeral Home in Stillwater.

"The family is not taking any questions at this time or making any statements and we ask you please respect their privacy. This is an ongoing investigation and no additional information is going to be released," said Dupuis.

He confirmed his niece Kacee had been married just three weeks.


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