07/21/2024

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Zachary Fritz

Husband stabbed wife 50 times, bit her face and then claimed she died by suicide: Cops

Zachary Fritz is facing a first-degree criminal homicide charge after he allegedly stabbed his wife 50 times and bit her face at their home in Shelby, Wisconsin. He claimed it was suicide. (Fritz: LaCrosse County Jail; Screenshot: WXOW/YouTube)

A 36-year-old man allegedly stabbed his wife 50 times, bit her face and then told cops she had died by suicide, police in Wisconsin say.

A criminal complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court and obtained by several local media outlets says authorities responded to a home in the town of Shelby for a call about a dead person. Cops arrived to find Zachary Fritz at the front door covered in blood and screaming “she’s upstairs,” the complaint reportedly said. They went upstairs to find Fritz’s wife’s body holding a knife in her left hand in the main bedroom with blood all around her.

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    Fritz later told cops that he fell asleep, woke up to go to the bathroom and found her body, the affidavit reportedly said. He allegedly claimed his wife’s stab wounds were self-inflicted. However, it appeared there had been a struggle in the bedroom, cops reportedly said. Also not helping his case is the fact that medical examiners reportedly determined she suffered 50 stab wounds throughout her body including the back and hamstring. She also allegedly suffered three bites to the face and blunt force injuries. A medical examiner reportedly determined the cause of death to be a homicide by multiple sharp and blunt force injuries.

    Cops say the couple’s 4-year-old child was in the home sleeping at the time of the murder. When Fritz’s father came to pick up the child and learned of his daughter-in-law’s death, he reportedly said something along the lines of “he killed her.”

    Officers took Fritz to the La Crosse County Jail on a charge of first-degree criminal homicide, records show.

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    Prosecutors asked for a $1 million cash bond at his arraignment, according to local ABC affiliate WXOW.

    “This is a situation where the defendant was found in the home covered in his wife’s blood, and said that she had killed herself,” Assistant District Attorney Andrew Burdick said. “The stab wounds, the bite marks on her face, the blunt force trauma was not consistent with the self-inflicted injury.”

    Prosecutors revealed at the arraignment that Fritz had previously been found not guilty due to mental disease for a 2009 domestic abuse incident. The judge set the bond at $1 million. Fritz’s next court date is scheduled for June 19.

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