ONEIDA, Wis. (WBAY) – The victims of a homicide on the Oneida Reservation were deceased for several days prior to the discovery of the bodies Wednesday, according to Oneida Police Chief Richard VanBoxtel.
VanBoxtel held a news conference Thursday afternoon where he identified the victims as Harry Brown Bear, 77, and his wife Lorraine, 67. His department considers the case a homicide investigation.
Autopsies are being conducted by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office.
Chief VanBoxtel did not say anything about a possible suspect or suspects in the deaths, but he did say the community is not in danger.
The bodies were found around 8 a.m. Wednesday at a duplex on Beechtree Lane on the Oneida reservation. Police responded to the area for a welfare check.
Neighbors were concerned after not seeing the couple coming and going for several days. They’ve seen police on scene for two days, searching through nearby woods and around the duplex. Police say it’s all part of their investigation.
“People seeing officers going through those cars and stuff last night, well, that’s just one of those normal things, you know, looking all over the place, around the area, making sure we gather all the proper evidence,” VanBoxtel said.
The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office is helping the Oneida Police Department with the investigation. They want anyone with information to call 920-869-2239.
Neighbors are shaken up after hearing the news. They described the area as a family-oriented street.
Kenny Kriescher just moved back to the Oneida Nation Reservation on Aug. 23. He’s still glad to be back home.
“I still feel safe here, you know, with my family,” he said. “I still feel safe here with my people, and nothing’s going to change that.”
One neighbor tells us the person who died was like a grandfather to her, and she is going to miss him dearly. Another neighbor says this is very unusual for the neighborhood.
“Things have gone on in this neighborhood, but never like this,” said Jeff Skenandore of Oneida. “This kind of makes it a little scary for my family and neighbors. But to see something like this — it’s just kind of out of the ordinary. It’s shocking.”