WAUKESHA, WI (WTAQ) - Waukesha Police said mental health officials were justified in not detaining Jaren Kuester, for threatening animal shelter workers before he allegedly killed three others.
Kuester’s parents said their 31-year-old son should have been held for a mental evaluation.
That’s because he asked to see his puppy that was actually killed two weeks earlier, and he got upset after being told the pet was cremated.
Waukesha Police investigated. They agreed that Kuester acted strange, but that’s not unusual for people with mental illnesses.
Captain Ron Oremus said it was clear that Kuester had mental issues, and that alone is not enough to take someone into protective custody.
Kuester was jailed for not paying an old citation, and he was freed the next day when an employer paid the fine. The day after that, April 27th, officials said Kuester broke into a farmhouse in Lafayette County and killed 3 occupants as they returned – Dean, Gary, and Chloe Thoreson.
Authorities said he then stole a victim’s pick-up truck and drove it to his father’s place in Waukesha – where police saw the vehicle and arrested him a day later.
Kuester is scheduled to enter pleas June 3rd to three charges of homicide, plus counts of burglary and vehicle theft. The animal shelter decided not to file its own complaint.