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Cold case closed: High Cliff homicide

Posted at 10 a.m. on December 22, 2021

CHILTON - The identity of the body found at High Cliff State Park on September 29, 2021, has been confirmed as a man who was killed in 1983.

Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert said the remains were those of Starkie L. Swenson, a Neenah man. He had allegedly been involved in a love triangle with a married woman.

Swenson was 67 years old when he disappeared.

John C. Andrews, now 82 years of age and currently a Chilton resident, was convicted of felony homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle in 1994 in Winnebago County Circuit Court for Swenson's death, even though there was no body found at the time.

Andrews pled no contest to the charge and was sentenced to two years in the county jail.

Photo of Starkie Swenson

He had originally been charged with first degree intentional homicide, but the charge was amended for the lack of a body.

The remains of Swenson's body were discovered by two people hiking the upper level of High Cliff State Park and were recovered for forensic examination by the State Crime Laboratory.

"We hope the identification of Mr. Swenson brings some comfort to his family during this difficult time," Sheriff Wiegert said in a statement announcing the identification of the body as that of Swenson..

Investigative reports have been turned over to the Calumet County District Attorney, which will determine if new criminal charges should be filed.

According to reports carried in the news media at the time of Andrews' sentencing in 1994, Swenson was killed when he was run over by a vehicle driven by Andrews.

Swenson was a summa cum laude graduate of Marquette University and worked for the Kimberly Clark Corporation.

Sheriff Wiegert thanked a number of other agencies for their assistance in the cold case investigation: the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resouces, State Crime Lab, OW-Oshkosh, Harrison Fire Department, Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, Neenah Police Department, Calumet County Medical Examiner's Office and the office of the Calumet County District Attorney.


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