Murder Suspect on Trial Claims Victim's Beau Was Involved

Wisconsin case could hinge on Fitbit, Google data
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2018 12:37 PM CST
Murder Suspect on Trial Claims Victim's Beau Was Involved
George Burch   (Brown County Jail)

A felon is on trial for the slaying of a mother of three in Wisconsin, but his lawyers argue the man who actually did the crime is the victim's boyfriend. Now, Fitbit and Google data could help resolve the case. Attorneys for George Burch, 40—who is alleged to have killed Nicole VanderHeyden outside her Ledgeview home on May 21, 2016—say it was actually VanderHeyden's boyfriend, Douglass Detrie, who killed the 31-year-old after a night out, reports the Daily Beast. Detrie was initially arrested after VanderHeyden's body, with signs of sexual assault, was found in a field three miles from her home. But authorities say they've cleared Detrie. Not only did Burch's DNA appear on VanderHeyden's body and the cord used to strangle her, but Fitbit data shows Detrie was inactive when the murder took place, prosecutors say, per the Green Bay Press Gazette.

After attending a concert with VanderHeyden and friends, Detrie became separated from the group. He says he then began receiving angry texts from VanderHeyden, who'd been drinking heavily. Friends who went with VanderHeyden to a bar say she got upset and left. Detrie, who friends described as worried, claims he went home and fell asleep around 3am. Only 30 minutes earlier, Burch had left a bar where his lawyers claim he met VanderHeyden. Google Dashboard data shows Burch then visited VanderHeyden's home and two sites where her body and clothing were found, prosecutors say. Beginning this week, defense attorneys are expected to argue Detrie killed VanderHeyden when he found her with Burch in a car outside the couple's home, then forced Burch to dump the body at gunpoint. (More Wisconsin stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.