This included showing the jury saw blades and scissors found in an oil drum near where Bart Halderson’s remains were found, as well as shoes with apparent bloodstains found in the Halderson home.
Also found hidden inside a pair of shoes in the garage of the Halderson home: a package wrapped in foil, which contained two cell phones and the Wisconsin state driver’s licenses of Bart and Krista Halderson.
Chandler Halderson told authorities he received a text from Krista over the July 4 weekend, saying she and Bart had reached the family’s cabin in Langlade County safely and were planning to go to a 4th of July parade. Authorities later determined that no one had been in the Halderson cabin that weekend.
Prosecutors have yet to say where they believe Krista’s phone text message was sent from.
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Rifle Discovery Questions
Earlier in the trial, the owner of the Cottage Grove farm where Bart Halderson’s remains were found said she was clearing a shed on the property in October – several months after deputies searched the area – when she discovered a rifle hidden behind four or five pieces of wood stacked against the wall.
The rifle was the same model of weapon that prosecutors say Chandler Halderson received from a friend in June, weeks before his parents disappeared.
However, the rifle was not discovered when officials from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office were checking the property from July 8 to July 12, or during an initial visit to the shed or an official search by investigators. Members of the Sheriff’s Office who were present during the search said they believe they carried it out to the best of their abilities, but resources were stretched due to another large-scale search of the Halderson home in Windsor. , and admitted that human error may have meant that the weapon was not discovered during these searches.
On cross-examination, sheriff’s office officials said they could not say for sure how long the search of the shed lasted, but they were confident the search was thorough.
Chandler Halderson’s defense team focused on the department’s inability to find a gun during the investigation, although deputies know Bart Halderson’s remains included a gunshot wound and a gun gun would be a key piece of evidence in a homicide case. The defense also pointed to the fact that investigators did not return to the hangar at any time between the initial investigation in July and the discovery of the rifle in October.
MORE: Full coverage of the Chandler Halderson homicide investigation and trial – live stream, previous stories, timelines and interviews
Other items found during searches
Investigators say that in addition to several cutting tools found dumped in an oil drum near where Bart Halderson’s remains were found, they also found a plastic wheelie dumpster dumped in the woods, about 10 meters from the limit of the woods. Inside the trash can, they found a tarp and yellow duct tape. Another piece of tarp was found folded inside the shed which was searched.
When investigators briefly unfolded this piece of tarp, they found red stains they believed to be blood before refolding it and sending it to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab for further testing. Accounts later indicated that there were shoe prints on some of the sample tarps that were sent for testing.
Another deputy testified that he found a Target bag filled with what he believed to be bloody rags dumped near the garbage cans on the driveway of the property. As previously revealed during testimony, the bag had a barcode with the name of Chandler Halderson’s girlfriend at the time. She testified last week that she collected items from Target to bring to the Haldersons’ home on July 1, and said the Haldersons’ home was the last place that bag would have been before it was found on the property of Cottage Grove.
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