The Vernon County sheriff said Thursday that ballistic tests confirmed Joseph Ganshert used a handgun he owned for years to kill his family and then himself.
Sheriff Gene Cary says the 42-year-old factory worker killed his wife, daughter and stepson at their Hillsboro home before traveling to his boyhood farm in Gratiot and killing himself. His 357- caliber pistol was recovered at the scene.
Cary says police are set to close the case and call it a murder-suicide.
Thirty-six-year-old Mary Ganshert, five-year-old Mandi Ganshert and 14-year-old Troy Klein Junior were found in early February dead of gunshot wounds after family members called authorities.
In one note left behind, Ganshert wrote, quote, "Today God asked me to bring my family to heaven."
Cary says what triggered the tragedy remains a mystery and more interviews are planned. Hillsboro is located in eastern Vernon County in southwestern Wisconsin.
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