UPDATE: Judge sets $250,000 cash bond for Chippewa Falls woman accused of murder-for-hire

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – A local woman is the focus of a murder- for- hire investigation. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office says the investigation began about two weeks ago, after the department received a tip about what the woman was planning to do.

Melanie S. Schrader, 47, is now behind bars accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill the father of her child. Authorities say this all began following a custody hearing between Schrader and her child's father.
After that court proceeding, officials say Schrader told an individual she needed someone to disappear and asked if they knew anyone who could "get the job done". Schrader appeared in Chippewa County court via video conference for a bond hearing Friday morning.

She was arrested on September 12th after authorities set up a sting operation. The sheriff's department says Schrader arranged a meeting in Chippewa Falls to meet who she thought was a hit man but it was actually an undercover agent with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation. "Miss Schrader exited her vehicle, entered the vehicle of our investigator, conversation was overheard in regards to what she wanted done, she wanted this individual killed, she produced $200 in cash and she also provided a photo of the person she wanted killed," said Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk.

We previously reported that Schrader brought her child with her to the meeting where she was later arrested, however authorities have clarified saying a young child was with her but it was not her child.

Sheriff Kowalczyk says this is another example of how the department relies on the public for information as this could have tragically impacted those involved had law enforcement not stepped in.
A judge set a cash bond for Schrader at $250,000.



A Chippewa Falls woman has been taken into custody while officers investigate a murder-for-hire incident.

Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office says officers learned 47-year-old Melanie Schrader wanted to have a male acquaintance killed.

Officers say they spoke with Schrader and she provided money, an address and a photograph of the person she wanted killed.

Schrader was taken into custody Thursday around 11 a.m. by multiple law enforcement agencies.