LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- La Crosse police say a taxi driver was found dead in the trunk of his vehicle after an officer tried pulling over the man behind the wheel.
Authorities say the officer thought the vehicle was suspicious and when he ran the license plate about 1 a.m. Friday he learned it belonged to a 79-year-old taxi driver reported missing in Platteville.
The man behind the wheel took off and sped through La Crosse and Onalaska before crashing into another vehicle and rolling over. Police say the fleeing driver was arrested.
Police say the victim in the trunk had injuries consistent with an assault. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The La Crosse County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting an autopsy.
Police Sgt. Randy Rank says the vehicle did not appear to be marked as a taxi.
LA CROSSE, Wis. (LA CROSSE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) -- On June 13th at approximately 1:10am, La Crosse Police Officer Matt Geenen observed a suspicious vehicle in the area of 7th and La Crosse St. Officer Geenen ran the registration plate of this vehicle and learned that on June 12, 2014, Grant County Sheriff’s Department had issued a Missing and Endangered Person for the registered owner of this vehicle. The officer’s squad computer alerted him that the vehicle and the 79 year old taxi driver were Missing and Endangered from Platteville, WI.
Officer Geenen noted the driver did not match the description of the Endangered/Missing Person and attempted to stop this vehicle at 2nd and La Crosse St. The driver fled from Officer Geenen northbound onto Copeland Ave. The pursuit continued northbound through La Crosse and continued into and through Onalaska on Hwy 35. As the pursuit continued towards Holmen, WI the driver of the fleeing vehicle was involved in a crash with another vehicle and left the road and rolled over. The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody by Officers.
Officers discovered an elderly male victim in the trunk of the vehicle and began life saving measures. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officer’s observed what appeared to be injuries consistent with the victim being assaulted prior to the crash.
The La Crosse Police Department, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, Grant County Sheriff’s Department, Platteville Police Department, WI State Patrol,
the La Crosse County District Attorney’s Office and the La Crosse County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating this incident as a homicide.
An autopsy is scheduled today for the victim.
The identification of the victim is being withheld at this time pending notifications.
This is an ongoing investigation involving multiple agencies and no further information will be released at this time.
The male suspect is in custody pending criminal charges and is identified as:
Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr.
DOB 07/28/1988 of Lancaster, WI