Wisconsin man charged with murdering elderly parents who owned cheese factory

David and Jan Metzig (Rep Nate Gustafson)
David and Jan Metzig (Rep Nate Gustafson)

A Wisconsin man was charged with two counts of homicide on Tuesday for allegedly killing his elderly parents, the owners of a well-regarded local cheese factory, WFRV reports.

Police were called to the Wolf River home of David and Jan Metzig around 5am on Saturday morning for a welfare check.

There, according to police documents, the couple was found dead, wrapped in blankets with bags over their heads. An AR-style assault rifle was found on the kitchen table with a loaded magazine, and a journal allegedly belonging to Erik Metzig was found detailing a plan to “eliminate” his parents.

A witness told police Mr Metzig lived with his parents, but was missing at the time of the call, according to WFRV.

Later that morning, he was detained at a YMCA in the town of Kimberly, about 35 miles away from Wolf River, according to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

Police obtained a warrant to search the vehicle and found red smears, according to WFRV.

The Metzigs were married in 1973 and raised five children in a home above the Union Star Cheese Factory, a family-run business that’s been operational since 1911, according to the Kansas City Star.

“In addition to cheesemaking, David enjoyed hunting, gardening and projects at the farm,” according to an online obituary. “Jan loved cooking, beekeeping, hosting and taking care of her boys.”

“David and Jan Metzig were widely known and deeply respected members of Wisconsin’s dairy community,” the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association said in a statement. “We mourn their loss along with their family, friends and neighbors, and will remember their tireless work and skills, and their dedication to craftsmanship.”

“They raised their five sons in a home above the factory, which became a cherished gathering spot for extended family and friends. The Union Star employees, customers and farmers were also considered family,” wrote state representative Nate Gustafson on Facebook. “With such tragedies our community always comes together. I ask that you pray for the Metzig family as they navigate this difficult time.”

Police in multiple towns investigated the killing, including with the use of drones.

“This is the type of investigation where we throw everything at it,” Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant Chris Braman said on Monday.