A memorial, including flowers and Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Shelter T-shirt, is set up on the front porch of Trish Waschbisch’s home in Peshtigo. She was killed late Saturday night and her live-in boyfriend has been charged with first degree homicide.<br>EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
A memorial, including flowers and Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Shelter T-shirt, is set up on the front porch of Trish Waschbisch’s home in Peshtigo. She was killed late Saturday night and her live-in boyfriend has been charged with first degree homicide.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
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MARINETTE - Charges of first-degree intentional homicide have been filed in Marinette County Circuit Court against Brent L. Kaempf, 48, in the stabbing death of Patricia "Trish" Waschbisch.
Kaempf will appear before Branch 2 Circuit Court Judge James Morrison today for his initial appearance, where bond and court dates will be considered.
In a criminal complaint issued by the Marinette County District Attorney's office Tuesday afternoon, Kaempf, who was Waschbisch's boyfriend and lived with her in a house on Thompson Street in Peshtigo, is charged with a felony punishable by life in prison.
The details of the complaint paint a picture of the relationship between Waschbisch and Kaempf in the final hours of her life - a 24-hour period between a visit to a friends' house to those friends finding her body in the bathroom of her home.
Nick Chmela, Kelly Swanson and Waschbisch's daughter found Waschbisch around 7:20 p.m. Sunday.
Waschbisch, her daughter and Kaempf had visited Chmela and Swanson around 7:30 Saturday evening for a bonfire and drinks. Around 10, Waschbisch went into the house with Swanson to talk.
According to Swanson's statements to police, Waschbisch told her she was "done with" Kaempf, because he had followed her to a bar Friday evening while she was out with a friend and would not leave.
Waschbisch said Kaempf would not leave because he didn't want her to cheat on him.
The report states Waschbisch and Kaempf left their friends' house around 11 and Waschbisch's daughter stayed overnight.
The next day, Waschbisch's daughter tried repeatedly to call and text both her mother and Kaempf. Around 1 p.m., the girl received a text message from Kaempf stating he and Waschbisch were at Wal-Mart and that she shouldn't come home yet.
More text messages and calls went unanswered, according to the criminal complaint, until the girl had Swanson and Chmela bring her to the house on Thompson Street.
According to their statements, Waschbisch's car was parked in front of the house, Kaempf's was gone and the front door was unlocked. The girl went into the home and started screaming.
Chmela said he went inside and found Waschbisch dead on the floor of the bathroom. He got the girl outside and called 911.
After officers from the City of Peshtigo Police Department and Marinette County Sheriff's Department arrived, they did a sweep of the house and found only Waschbisch inside. Officers observed a large amount of blood on and near her body, as well as two knives on the floor.
A bulletin went out to law enforcement and the public to be on the alert for Kaempf and his vehicle, which was spotted after 3 a.m. Monday by a City of Wauwatosa Police Officer on patrol.
The officer observed a man sleeping in a vehicle, woke him up and spoke with him. Kaempf identified himself and the officer's check revealed the bulletin from Marinette County.
Kaempf was detained, but taken to a hospital in Milwaukee County for a wrist injury.
Kaempf was interviewed at the hospital by two agents with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, and after waiving his rights, he admitted to killing "his girlfriend" by stabbing her with a kitchen knife.
Waschbisch, who was the interim director of the Rainbow House, a shelter and advocacy agency for domestic abuse victims, had a relationship with Kaempf for the past several years.
She had filed a temporary restraining order for domestic abuse against him in 2010, which had later been dismissed.