CRIME
08/02/2013 10:30 am ET Updated Aug 02, 2013

Daniel Bartelt Charged With Murder of Jessie Blodgett: Cops

Washington County

A Wisconsin teen has been accused in the murder of a college actress who was found last month strangled to death.

Daniel Joseph Bartelt, 19, was charged Wednesday with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 19-year-old Jessie Blodgett, WITI reported.

Blodgett, a student at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, was found dead in bed at her Hartford home on July 15, the day after a cast party for a local production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

The teen had marks on her neck and a preliminary autopsy ruled the cause of death as "ligature strangulation."

Bartelt was arrested after investigators say they found his fingerprints on a wad of of electrical tape underneath the floorboard of Blodgett's bedroom. Blodgett's blood and hair were stuck to the tape, suggesting she had been tied up prior to being killed.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by WISN, Bartelt and Blodgett dated in high school and recently began rekindling a friendship, but Bartelt wanted to be more than friends.

Blodgett and Bartelt participated in theater together. According to WITI, the recorded a song together, which they uploaded to YouTube:

A police search of Bartelt's possessions turned up a manuscript of a novel by "Joseph Bartelt." Entitled "Red Is Red," it focuses on a character named Jessica. Bartelt's online search history revealed extensive searches about serial killers, according to the criminal complaint.

Bartelt has also been charged in an unrelated assault case that took place days before Blodgett's murder.

On July 12, police say Bartelt approached a woman he did not know in a park, tackled her and cut her with a knife. A police report obtained by WITI states that Bartelt admitted to the attack, and told police it was a "spur of the moment decision."

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