BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- The man accused of shooting his father to death, burning the body, and burying the remains is now charged with murder.
On Wednesday, prosecutors filed criminal charges including First Degree Murder and Hiding a Corpse against Lars Helgeson, 20, of Hixton. Court records show that Helgeson was denied bond on Wednesday.
A criminal complaint says a son of Brian Helgeson, 57, of Hixton called for help on September 24 after looking for his father at his home on Green Acres Road near Hixton. He told dispatchers he saw people inside the home crawling around with guns. Investigators later found that Brian Helgeson hadn't been seen by neighbors in a week. An armored vehicle responded, and deputies sent a robot into the house. Video from that robot revealed guns, bullets, and other weapons inside, but nobody was home.
The complaint goes on to say that two men came to the house afterwards. One told a deputy he was there to pick up things he thought he left at the house, and the other said he hadn't seen Brian for about nine days. They both told the deputy Lars should be at the house. The next day, they came to the sheriff's department, where the first man changed his story and said that Lars had shot his father. He also told a deputy that "Lars said he was tired of Brian being mean to him and slowing him down." He went on to say that he, the other man, and Lars were the ones crawling in the Helgeson house when people showed up, and that Lars had told them to hide. He said that Lars had also said "I hope they don't try to get in. I'm going to have to shoot them." The other man told the deputy that he had known what happened for nearly a week, and that Lars never told him he killed his father, but that Lars kept saying something about how "the gods wanted him (Brian) gone."
Deputies also received a report on September 23 of a brown SUV having been stolen from a nearby nursery. The next day, a woman told investigators she had seen Helgeson in a vehicle with a similar description to the stolen SUV. Later, someone reported seeing Helgeson near his farm. A deputy responded, and found Helgeson holding his hands above his head, and kneeling down. He was arrested, and taken to jail.
During an interview with Lars Helgeson, the complaint says he told investigators that he tried to keep one of the men safe by making up a story about his father going to Florida. Lars also told investigators "He always torched me and (expletive), physically and mentally, he made it so I couldn't work anymore; that's why I did not have a job anymore. He was imprisoning me in that house." Lars went on to say "I shot him, all right; I did, with that gun you guys couldn't find in the woods." He also admitted to burning the body, burying it under an ATV track on the property, washing away the places where blood remained, and pouring gasoline on them. The Division of Criminal Investigation excavated, and found a body buried in a dirt pile.
The complaint also says an autopsy showed that Brian Helgeson was shot to death, and that his body was extensively burned.
If convicted, Lars Helgeson could spend the rest of his life in prison. He's scheduled to appear in court on October 14.