Double homicide in Berlin, Wis. prompts an Amber Alert: Missing girl is safe with relatives
BERLIN, Wis. (WITI) -- Two people were killed and one man has been arrested in what Berlin authorities are calling a double homicide that prompted a brief Amber Alert for an eight-year-old girl early Sunday, September 28th.
Green Lake County Sheriff's officials say just after 11:00 p.m. Saturday, a 911 call came in concerning a female victim on Broadway Street in Berlin.
Police arrived, and found a woman laying on the sidewalk. Green Lake County Sheriff's officials say the woman sustained gunshot wounds.
Police then learned of a male victim at a nearby apartment -- who had also sustained gunshot wounds.
“Officers responding to the scene found the female in a pool of blood and unfortunately, they did find what would be suspected as gunshot wounds. It was later verified that there were gunshot wounds not only to her, but also to the male subject that was found on the second floor (of the apartment),” City of Berlin Chief of Police Dennis Plantz said.
Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene by the Green Lake County Coroner.
City of Berlin police have identified the victims as 28-year-old Melissa Tuinstra of Berlin, and 28-year-old Justin Daniels of Berlin.
A crime scene and perimeter were established, and through a preliminary investigation, police learned the whereabouts of an eight-year-old girl were unknown. Police learned the eight-year-old girl had a family relationship with the residence where the male victim was located.
It is unknown whether the eight-year-old girl was present when the victims were killed.
An Amber Alert was sent out early Sunday morning in an attempt to locate the eight-year-old girl -- as authorities believed she may have been in great danger. The Amber Alert involved attempting to locate a vehicle registered to a person of interest in this case.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m. Sunday, the Amber Alert was cancelled -- after the eight-year-old girl, the person of interest and the vehicle authorities were seeking were located in Marquette County.
The eight-year-old girl was not injured.
“We were able to get the grandparents and the eight-year-old (girl) out of the residence — away from the person of interest. Shortly thereafter, early this morning, the subject woke up, called his mother. He was asked for his cooperation to come out of the residence. He came out, met with Sheriff’s deputies in Marquette County and was taken into custody,” Plantz said.
Green Lake County Sheriff's officials say the person of interest in this case is a Berlin man. He has not been identified.
Authorities are calling this case a double homicide. Officials say the public is not considered to be in danger.
Berlin, Wisconsin has a population of fewer than 5,600 people. It’s a quiet, picturesque town — the kind of town where homicides are few and far between. This case involves a series of events that has shaken some long-time residents to the core.
“We saw all the cop cars going by and like ‘what’s going on’ and then our phones went off. It’s very sad and I woke my kids up and you just kind of want to hug them and you ask, you know, ‘do you know this little girl’ — and my daughter said ‘yes,'” Berlin resident Jenni Przybyl said.
The person of interest in this case is being questioned -- and City of Berlin police say several search warrants are being executed.
Again — the eight-year-old girl is safe, and in the care of her grandparents.
It’s important to note, police have now asked us NOT to name the girl or show her photo while their investigation is ongoing. That’s even though her name and photo were released as part of the Amber Alert.
At this time, the Berlin Police Department along with the City of Green Lake Sheriff’s Department are conducting and investigation. The Wisconsin State Crime Lab and the Division of Criminal Investigation of the Wisconsin State Patrol are assisting.
In the meantime, if you have any information about this case, you’re urged to call Green Lake County officials at 920-294-4000.