MADISON, Wis. – Police believe the fatal shootings of a mother and her young daughter in Madison were connected to the slayings of another woman and young girl in a nearby suburb, and authorities were searching Friday for a "person of interest" in all four deaths.
Police identified Tyrone Adair, 38, as the "person of interest." Court records show that a man with the same name and age had paternity cases with two women and a criminal record in Dane County, including convictions for battery and bail jumping.
Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said Adair had a relationship with both women found dead Thursday night but declined to say if he had any connection with the girls.
"We believe these are somewhat domestic in nature," he said. "We're still putting this all together."
DeSpain said Adair's photograph has been distributed to police across the country. Adair has family in Madison, and investigators were working Friday to contact them and anyone else he knows, DeSpain said. He cautioned that Adair could be a long way from Madison.
"At this point in time we don't know where this guy has gone," DeSpain said.
Police were called to a duplex on Madison's southwest side around 6 p.m. and discovered a mother and her daughter shot to death inside a vehicle in the garage.
Around 8:30 p.m., Madison police asked officers in nearby Middleton to locate a vehicle that eventually was found in a parking lot with the bodies of a woman and a girl in the trunk, Middleton Police Lt. Noel Kakuske said. Both appeared to have been shot, he said.
The victims' names and ages haven't been released.
It wasn't immediately clear how Madison police became aware of the vehicle.
Investigators don't know the relationship between the woman and the child found in Middleton, said Kakuske, who said the girl may have been 2 or 3 years old. Investigators believe they may have been killed elsewhere and the car abandoned in Middleton.
"It's possible it was just a random location to leave the vehicle," Kakuske said.
Court records indicate that a Tyrone Adair was involved in paternity cases with a woman in the same block as the Madison double slaying and a paternity case with a woman in Middleton.
In 2008, court records show that Adair and Tracy Graser of Middleton reached a court settlement acknowledging that Adair was the father of a child named Deja Adair, who was born on Christmas Day, 2007. A family court commissioner ordered Graser and Adair to share custody of the child because they were living together in Middleton at the time.
In the other parternity case, Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Mary Beth Keppel ruled in March 2008 that a Tyrone Adair was the father of a child named Neveah Weigel-Adair. The child's mother, Amber Weigel, had petitioned the court for a paternity judgment against him.
Keppel ordered Adair to pay Weigel child support and birth expenses. She ordered the two to share custody and outlined a weekly schedule.
Weigel complained in court records that in March 2009, Adair stopped seeing the child and changed his phone number. In April, "he raised the possibility of me having sole custody," Weigel wrote in court documents. In June, he again told her he did not plan to "exercise his visitation rights."
Adair did not show up for a court hearing in August where he was again ordered to pay child support plus extra money for falling behind.
Court documents also show that a woman sought a restraining order in 2006 against a Tyrone Adair after she said he stalked and threatened her for months.
The woman said Adair slashed her tires, broke into her apartment, destroyed her computer, phone and television, and repeatedly made threatening phone calls to her.
"Don't forget I know where you live," he told her in one call, according to court documents.
Dane County Circuit Judge James Martin granted the restraining order in July 2006, prohibiting Adair from contacting the woman or possessing a firearm until 2010.
At one point, she said she left her apartment because she was scared of him and went to live with friends.
On Friday morning, police tape still surrounded the Madison duplex. Christmas lights decorated the front porch and Halloween decorations hung on the door. The blinds were drawn. A Dane County Sheriff's crime scene vehicle was parked in front of the home.
Neighbor Crystal Hutson, 29, said the area is normally "pretty quiet," other than a rash of burglaries a few years ago. Hutson, who didn't know the victims, said she saw nothing unusual Thursday.
Hutson, who has a 6-year-old son, said she locked her doors when she heard about the deaths.
"It's really sad and really unfortunate and happening so close to home," she said.