A possible link between the unsolved April 2008 homicide of University of Wisconsin student Brittany Zimmermann and a July 2008 break-in at a University Avenue bar is being investigated by the Madison Police Department, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Sunday.
The MPD has not released specific details on why they believe the incidents are related, though police and court records show an unknown accomplice to the burglary might also have been present at the homicide.
Zimmermann was murdered after coming back from taking an exam on April 2, 2008, at her Doty Street apartment after the outside door to her apartment building was forced open.
She called 911, but due to a series of errors, police did not respond to Zimmermann’s house until 48 minutes after the initial call, when Zimmermann’s fiance found her body.
Three gang-affiliated teenagers were involved in a July 9, 2008, burglary at the Blue Moon Bar and Grill, 2535 University Ave. However, a unidentified fingerprint was found, the State Journal reported.
The investigation began after a parent of a teenager questioned by MPD about Zimmermann’s case told the State Journal that a detective told her DNA associated with the homicide matched DNA from a crime at a local bar.
However, the MPD would not confirm the detective’s conversation with the parent. MPD said because the two crimes might be connected, they are reviewing records from the Blue Moon burglary to remove any information involving the homicide.
MPD told the State Journal it “will not discuss any evidence” or “any working theory…or any persons of interest” because the case is still ongoing.
One man who admitted to involvement in the robbery denied a fourth person participated in the burglary.The man said he could not “testify in other matters” because it would have put his life in danger.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the potential lead brings hope to the community that the crime can be solved.
“I am at least somewhat more optimistic that the crime can be solved given that there is this lead that investigators have obviously been following for some time now,” Verveer said.
Verveer said he was contacted by a State Journal reporter several weeks ago when the newspaper originally learned of the potential lead, but did not know details of the incident.
A MPD spokesperson declined comment to The Badger Herald Sunday.