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Vang Cleared in Southworth Murder

By: Anna Wagnild
By: Anna Wagnild

Authorities in Clark County say they can rule out one suspect in the shooting of James Southworth, and his widow says it's not the information she was hoping for.

Investigators have determined that Chai Vang, recently convicted of killing six hunters in Sawyer County, is not responsible for Southworth's death.

Four years ago this month, 37-year-old James Southworth was shot twice in the back near his tree stand east of Neillsville.

Vang was considered a "person of interest" by the sheriff's department earlier this year, despite no physical evidence linking him to the scene. Investigators now say Vang's employer vouched for his location the day Southworth was murdered.

"We were able to verify that he was, in fact, working through his employer," says Detective Kerry Kirn of the Clark County Sheriff's Department. "He was working as a truck driver in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area."

Investigators are following up on other leads. There is a $50,000 reward for information that results in the arrest and conviction of Southworth's murderer.


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