Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Travelers Rest, SC: TR man killed wife, took son to daycare, then killed himself, police say

A Travelers Rest man killed his wife Monday night, took their 4-year-old son to daycare the next day and then returned home and killed himself in a murder-suicide, authorities said today.

The son wasn’t harmed.

Greenville County Deputy Coroner Kent Dill identified the victims as Dale Patrick Wetzelberger, 47, and his wife, Michele Marie Wetzelberger, 41.

Michele Wetzelberger was a group exercise instructor at the George I. Theisen YMCA in Travelers Rest, according to a statement released by Zack Hall, the Y’s executive director.

“Yesterday, we were shocked to learn of the death of Michele Wetzelberger,” the statement said.

“Michele was a valued Y employee and a caring person. Our prayers go out to her family and friends. We will remember Michele fondly as she meant so much to so many. We will miss her very much.”
Y officials had no other comment.

Police discovered the couple’s bodies Tuesday after their 4-year-old son wasn’t picked up from a day-care facility at the Y, Dill said. Autopsies were conducted earlier today.

Dill said investigators believe Michele Wetzelberger was shot three times - twice in the head and once in the arm - between supper-time and bedtime Monday. The next morning, Dale Wetzelberger took their son to the Y, where his wife was scheduled to teach a class, Dill said.

It appears Dale Wetzelberger covered his wife’s body to keep their son from seeing her when the child got up that morning, Dill said.

When Michele Wetzelberger didn’t show up at the Y and no one came to pick up their son about lunchtime, the day-care staff became concerned and called police, Dill said.

Travelers Rest Police Capt. John Gardner said the bodies were found in the Northcliff Way home about 1:30 p.m. Dill said the couple were found in the living room. Dale Wetzelberger was shot once in the head with a handgun, Dill said.

Police have no record of domestic trouble with the couple and were never called to the house, Gardner said.

He said the child was in the custody of the state Department of Social Services.

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