Information released Thursday in the homicide investigation of University of Wisconsin junior Brittany Zimmermann indicates her killer or killers broke into her building.
According to a statement, Police Chief Noble Wray said at least one individual forced his or her way into a door of the building where Zimmermann lived.
Joel DeSpain, public information officer for the Madison Police Department, said Wray debated and deliberated releasing this information at great length but decided “it was the right thing to do.”
City Council President Mike Verveer, District 4, said the disclosure by the police that it was a home invasion makes the tragic event “even more scary for those of us who live downtown and in the (Bassett) neighborhood.”
Verveer said he is unaware of the specifics regarding the locks on Zimmerman’s building and whether they were up to code or not.
“I think that it causes concerns once again, for all of us, that it’s not just a matter of locking your door that’s enough,” he said.
Verveer said this is a good time to remind all student renters that there are standards for door and window locks, and they can check with landlords to make sure they are up to par.
Police are being very cautious in releasing any details regarding the homicide investigation of Zimmermann, who was murdered in her home last Wednesday, because it could deter some people with information from coming forward, DeSpain said.
“Detectives must rely heavily on interviews with potential witnesses/suspects wherein only they and the killer/killers or witness/witnesses possess details of the crime,” DeSpain said.
DeSpain said the only way to test the veracity of the suspects’ statements is by holding back details from the public.
Police do not have a murder suspect or suspects yet but said they have made about two dozen arrests on previous parole warrants or crimes unrelated to Zimmermann’s murder.
Investigators believe the murder was a stranger attack and are not making any connection between the Zimmermann case, the January murder of 31-year-old Joel Marino or UW-Whitewater student Kelly Nolan, who disappeared after bar-hopping in Madison in June 2007 and was found dead about 10 miles away in a wooded area of the Town of Dunn in July.