MADISON, Wis. – The dead bodies of 3- and 4-year-old Wisconsin brothers were found in a parked car early Wednesday morning and the boyfriend of the children's mother was arrested, Madison police said.
The children's names have not been released and a cause of death has not been determined pending autopsies, said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. He said investigators are treating the case as a double homicide and the boyfriend is their primary suspect.
Police said the boys' 22-year-old mother arrived at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon and reported she had an altercation involving a knife a day earlier with her 28-year-old boyfriend at their apartment. Police didn't offer any further details.
The Associated Press is not identifying the boyfriend because he has not yet been formally charged. Police have not named the mother.
Several hours later, the woman returned to the couple's apartment and contacted the boys' biological father. The father told the woman that her boyfriend had picked the children up from his apartment. The boyfriend told him he was going to take the boys to meet with the mother's family and go shopping for shoes.
About 45 minutes later, the mother called police again and reported the children were missing and they were with her boyfriend. Police checked various addresses and tracked the boyfriend's movements through his cell phone, Police Capt. Joe Balles said.
Around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, the boyfriend called police and told them he was in a vehicle with a woman who had convinced him to turn himself in.
A few minutes later he pulled into a police station parking lot and was arrested on a parole violation stemming from the alleged domestic dispute, Balles said. He didn't offer any details about the other woman.
The children weren't in the car and the search for them continued. Balles declined to comment on what, if anything, the man told officers after he was arrested.
Shortly before 3 a.m., an officer discovered a gray Volvo that police believed the boyfriend had been driving earlier in the day parked in front of a medical testing lab on Madison's east side. The officer discovered the children's bodies in the car.
Balles said the lab apparently has no connection to the case and he didn't know who owned the Volvo.
Chief Noble Wray said surveillance cameras in the parking lot show the vehicle was parked there around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Online court records show the boyfriend has a lengthy criminal record.
He was convicted of felony battery by a prisoner in 2002, fleeing an officer and disorderly conduct in 2003, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety in 2004 and false imprisonment in 2006. In that case, he accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and held her in her basement with a pellet gun.