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Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00

Janesville police news release: Incidents might be related in possible homicide case

Written by  CSI Media news staff
Police stand guard where a body was foudn at the rear of 533 N. Main Street, the former Schuler Furniture Store. Police stand guard where a body was foudn at the rear of 533 N. Main Street, the former Schuler Furniture Store. Dan Plutchak/staff

JANESVILLE -- Janesville police are trying to tie together clues on three cases -- a missing woman, a stabbing and a body discovered near the Rock River.

The Janesville Police Department held a news conference this morning, and issued the following press release:

The Janesville Police Department is investigating two significant but perhaps unrelated incidents that occurred in Janesville over the last two days.

On Saturday morning May 3, 2014, officers responded to a report of a missing person from 208 N. Main Street. The missing person, Mary Coulthard, age 75 was missing from her apartment.

The investigation reveals that personal property of Ms. Coulthard, a water bottle, was found on the Milwaukee Street Bridge. Other personal property was found south of the Milwaukee Street Bridge, on land, but in the area of the Rock River. This evidence prompted a ground, water, and aerial search of the Rock River. The ground and water search was conducted in the Janesville area and the aerial search included the Rock River south to the Illinois state line.

On Sunday evening May 4, 2014, shortly after 10:00 p.m. officers were called to 1602 N. Pontiac Drive regarding the report of a fight occurring in the residence. Upon the arrival of officers, two male residents of the address were found to have been involved in the altercation during which a male victim, age 28, was stabbed several times. The victim was transported to Mercy Hospital in Janesville for treatment of the stab wounds, one of which was described by doctors as near fatal.

A female resident, age 32, was uninjured during the incident, as were two small children who were sleeping at the time of the incident.

The other male resident, Clayton J. Courtney, male, age 28, attempted to flee on foot upon the arrival of police. Mr. Courtney was caught after a brief foot pursuit. He was transported to Mercy Hospital for an ankle injury reported by Mr. Courtney.

The subsequent investigation revealed that prior to the fight, Mr. Courtney attempted to set a vehicle on fire while it was parked in the attached garage. He also damaged cabinets in the kitchen. During this rage, Mr. Courtney stated, “I’ve already killed three people tonight.” “We are all going to die”. He also made threats to harm the unborn child of the female co-tenant. Officers found Mr. Courtney covered in mud and blood. The mud on Mr. Courtney was not consistent with the crime scene on N. Pontiac Drive.

The investigation revealed that earlier in the evening, Mr. Courtney was believed to have been in the area of the Memorial Street Bridge as he had told others that he was going to drink and do drugs with a female friend under the bridge.

Accordingly, early this morning, officers searched the area of the Rock River by the Memorial Street Bridge. Officers located the body of a deceased female to the rear of 533 N. Main Street, the former Schuler Furniture Store.

We do not believe this body is that of Mary Coulthard, as the deceased victim looks to be significantly younger.

Currently, officers have secured the scene and detectives are processing evidence there.

Further, detectives are researching the activities of Mr. Courtney over the last 72 hours.

Any citizen having information regarding Mr. Courtney or any suspicious activity in the community should contact the Janesville Police Department at 755-3100 or CrimeStoppers at 756-3636.

Mr. Courtney was arrested for; Attempted 1st Degree Homicide, 939.32(1)/940.02(1), Attempted arson 939.32(1)/943.02, Criminal Damage 943.01, Disorderly Conduct 943.02 all of which are Domestic Violence related 968.075, and is being held at the Rock County jail pending initial court appearance.

Pursuant to the directive of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3:6 Trial Publicity, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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