Wausau man charged in shooting death, transporting body to Milwaukee

WAUSAU/MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Wausau man has been charged in a case in which he allegedly shot and killed a man, and then transported his body to Milwaukee.

26-year-old Kou Thao faces the following charges: one count of first degree intentional homicide, one count of hiding a corpse (repeater) and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon (repeater).

The criminal complaint in the case says an officer responded to a home in Wausau after receiving a call regarding a missing person.

At the home, the criminal complaint indicates police spoke with a man who said Thao brought another man into the home on April 6th. The two were reportedly planning to drink in the basement.

The man told police Thao and the man he had brought over were in the basement, when the man reported hearing a gunshot. The man went into the basement and saw Thao -- and then saw a man lying on the floor, with blood on the floor, according to the criminal complaint.

The man told police Thao asked for his help with the body -- and the man obliged, fearing Thao would shoot him if it did not cooperate, according to the criminal complaint.

The criminal complaint indicates the two men wrapped the body in a tarp and put it into a Honda Accord, that Thao drove away from the scene after cleaning up the blood in the basement with bleach. The man told police Thao told him not to say anything about what had happened, according to the criminal complaint.

The man told police the man who was killed in the basement by Thao was his aunt's boyfriend, Tong Pao Hang, according to the complaint.

On April 18th, Milwaukee police officers responded to a home on N. 38th Street in Milwaukee -- where they discovered Thao's Honda Accord was parked. The criminal complaint indicates Thao attempted to flee from the house but was apprehended by police.

The criminal complaint indicates police received a search warrant and searched the Honda Accord. There, officials located a human head inside a bucket. The criminal complaint indicates an examination of the head revealed a gunshot wound between the eyes.

Later, when interviewed by police, Thao admitted he shot and killed Hang, and took his body to Milwaukee -- according to the criminal complaint. Thao also admitted to cutting Hang's body into pieces, and hiding some of those pieces at the home on N. 38th Street -- according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint indicates police searched the basement of the home in which Thao was discovered in Milwaukee -- and located body parts reportedly brought to Milwaukee by Thao.

Doug Layman saw police searching his neighbor's apartment over the weekend -- but wasn't told what they found.

"It's obviously a little bit disturbing to have such a thing happen right next door. That's really bizarre, to say the least," Layman said.

"Now with people moving in and out of the houses, you used to know your neighbors.  Now people are moving in and out and you don't know your neighbors anymore.  And to know that happened, is unbelievable," another neighbor, Jermaine Jacksons aid.

The criminal complaint indicates Thao has a previous conviction for possession of methamphetamine in Marathon County.