Search eyewitness: triple homicide suspect possibly on ecstasy - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Search eyewitness: triple homicide suspect possibly on ecstasy


GREEN COUNTY (WKOW) -- An eyewitness to a weekend search for 31-year old triple homicide suspect Jaren Kuester tells 27 News authorities believed Kuester was under the influence of the drug ecstasy.

"They figured he was high on...ecstasy," Laverne Gordee says. "That makes your body get warm, and you start taking your clothes off. They even found his watch."

When Kuester was reported missing Saturday after abandoning his SUV near Gordee's rural Green County property, authorities said he was potentially in an altered state and partially naked.

According to, overheating (hyperthermia) is the most common cause of ecstasy-related death.

Authorities say Kuester is jailed and is a suspect in the murders of 70-year old Gary Thoreson, his wife 66-year old Chloe Thoreson, and his 76-year old brother Dean Thoreson. Their bodies were found at the couple's property in Lafayette County.

Lafayette County Sheriff Scott Pedley has yet to comment on whether investigators believe Kuester had used ecstasy.

Gordee says when officers found Kuester's abandoned SUV, unspecified drugs were found, and there was an odor of marijuana. Medical literature indicates recreational use of ecstasy is sometimes combined with marijuana.

Gordee tells 27 News he found Kuester's identification bracelet from the Waukesha County jail.

Authorities say Kuester was arrested Thursday at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha after acting strangely and making threats. But records show Kuester was taken into custody on an arrest warrant in connection with a past, minor municipal violation. Waukesha County Sheriff's officials say $243 was paid Friday to satisfy Kuester's fine and he was released.

Society director Lynn Olenik tells 27 News Kuester surrendered the corpse of a pit bull terrier mix last month, but returned to the Society Thursday, demanding information on the welfare of his former dog, and threatening staff members.

Waukesha Police lieutenant Tom Wagner tells 27 News responding officers did not build a case to recommend any criminal charge against Kuester.

"They (Society staff) did not wish for a complaint to be filed, just wanted him removed," Wagner tells 27 News.

Olenik tells 27 News Kuester did not make physical contact with any staff member.

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel tells 27 News officers would typically respect the wishes of potential victims of conduct of this type, unless it involved domestic violence, coercion, or a future danger to those reporting activity to police.

Kuester's history includes misdemeanor convictions for violence, and a February 2012 municipal violation for possessing a controlled substance in Waukesha. Kuester was arrested Sunday in Waukesha, where the pick up truck of one of the victims was recovered.

Authorities say Kuester remains jailed on three tentative charges of first degree intentional homicide.

Kuester has yet to have a court hearing scheduled to consider bail.

Pedley says a judicial review was conducted to establish probable cause for Kuester's jailing, but Pedley and Lafayette County District Attorney Katherine Findley have yet to respond to emails and calls from 27 News seeking access to a probable cause affidavit outlining Kuester's alleged crimes.

Authorities have declined to specify the manner of the victims' deaths.  They have said the killings were random.




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