Jessie Blodgett was killed by a 19-year-old Daniel Bartelt of Hubertus who has since been charged on Wednesday, July 31 2013.
Bartelt faces four felony counts in all — one of the counts is a first-degree intentional homicide for the Jessie Blodgett death.
The remaining three charges are related to an alleged attack at a Richfield Park on July 12. Those three charges include one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and one count of false imprisonment.
Jessie Blodgett, 19, was discovered dead in her home Monday, July 15. The young actress had just wrapped up a performance of Fiddler on the Roof.
According to a search warrant, Jessie Blodgett had attended a cast party after a Sunday matinée. Her mother recalls her coming home after 1:00 a.m. Monday.
The search warrant revealed her mother placed clothing in Jessie Blodgett’s room around 8 a.m., and found her daughter in bed alone.
Nonetheless, Jessie Blodgett’s mother didn’t check whether she was alive or not. Jessie Blodgett’s mother left for work, and returned after noon. That’s when she discovered her daughter lifeless.
According to the complaint, police discovered ligature marks on Blodgett’s neck, left wrist and ankles. The initial autopsy discoveries are that Jessie Blodgett died of “ligature strangulation.”
Police also discovered a “roll of tape underneath Blodgett’s footboard.” Investigators say they later discovered fingerprints on the tape that matched her killer’s, Bartelt’s.
Investigators also recovered evidence thrown away at Woodlawn Park, where a camera captured a picture of Bartelt.
Bartelt was reportedly a friend of Jessie Blodgett’s, and a classmate at Hartford Union High School, where both were active in the music program. The two had clearly recently reunited.
The complaint suggests Bartelt told the police he had learned of Jessie Blodgett’s death from a friend, and had even attended a vigil for Blodgett at Jessie’s parents’ house on July 16.
The complaint says a detective investigating this case discovered among Bartelt’s possessions a disc that “contained portions of what appears to be a novel titled ‘Red is Red’ by ‘Joseph Bartelt.'”
“Joseph” is Daniel Bartelt’s middle name.
The complaint says a “portion of the novel focuses on Jessica…and Jessica’s college experiences. Another portion of the novel details a character named “D” beating another character into a coma using a pillowcase filled with Legos.
The complaint also referred to a search of Bartelt’s laptop, which reclaimed a search with the parameters “serial killer wiki,” a Wikipedia search for “list of serial killers by number of victims,” which leads to a webpage that defines a serial killer as “a person who murders two or more people in two or more separate events over a period of time, for primarily psychological reasons, which may range from a few hours to many years.”
The complaint says the list shows serial killers from the 20th Century to present day by number of victims.
The complaint says other serial killers were searched by name.
According to the criminal complaint, Bartelt’s parents told officials he had dropped out of college at UW-Stevens Point after a semester, and had come back home, at which time his parents said he appeared devastated.
Both Bartelt and Blodgett took part in local theatre. The two even went ahead to record a song together just two months ago. A demo of their recording was posted on YouTube.
The Medical Examiner is conducting toxicology tests in this case. Although it could take more than a month to get those results.
Bartelt now faces life imprisonment. He has been held on $750,000 cash bond. The court ordered a competency evaluation for Bartelt and set the next court hearing in his case for Wednesday, September 4.
This is Hartford’s homicide in 15 years.