SUMNER — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of a Fort Atkinson man believed to be responsible for fatally shooting his sister and brother-in-law last month.
Kevin P. Anderson, 62, is wanted in connection with the murders of Nedra and James Lemke of Fort Atkinson outside his late father’s Town of Sumner house on June 16. Investigators were unable to locate Anderson after the incident.
In addition to ATF’s potential $10,000 reward for information, the U.S. Marshals are working closely with case investigators to help apprehend Anderson. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at (920) 674-7311.
Information can be submitted anonymously, but contact information must be included if a reward is sought. Information eligible for the reward must lead to Anderson’s arrest and conviction.
Anderson, 61, of Perry Road west of Fort Atkinson, is described as a 6-foot-tall white male who weighs about 200 pounds and has blue eyes and balding brown hair. Authorities caution that anyone who sees him should not approach Anderson. Rather, contact the sheriff’s office immediately.
A warrant for Anderson’s arrest was issued when Jefferson County District Attorney Monica Hall filed charges against him in connection with the murders. They include two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count each of attempted intentional first-degree homicide, arson and a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 5:48 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Nedra Lemke, 57, reporting a potential burglary at N1941 County Highway A, just off of State Highway 106 in the Town of Sumner.
She told dispatch that she and her husband, Jim, 59, had arrived at the property of her late father, Verdal Anderson, to mow the lawn and noticed that some windows on the home were broken. They checked the doors and found they were locked, and were concerned there might have been a break-in.
A deputy arrived approximately 12 minutes later and found Nedra Lemke lying on the ground, dead. As the deputy was calling in to his department, someone started to fire a gun in his direction from the second story of the home. He reportedly crouched behind his squad and, using his duty weapon, returned four rounds toward the upper northeast window of the house, in the direction of the person who was firing toward him, while simultaneously retreating down the driveway and into a ditch across the road.
Another deputy arrived at the scene approximately three minutes later and, six minutes after that, he noticed dark smoke and visible flames coming from the house.
Meanwhile, the Jefferson County SWAT team discovered Jim Lemke lying in front of his vehicle, also deceased.
According to the complaint, officers searched the property and found a black Dodge Ram 1500 registered to Anderson’s wife, Lynn, in an outbuilding with the door closed.
She reportedly told agents that Kevin was supposed to be the personal representative in his parents’ will. However, after his father died on June 5, Nedra informed Kevin that she was the personal representative, and he was upset about that.
Another of Anderson’s sisters told authorities that when their father died, Nedra was named as the executor of the estate, causing a family dispute. She said that Kevin “had always felt he was entitled to more of their parent’s inheritance,” according to the complaint, which also stated, “The defendant also has a violent temper.”
The sister also told authorities that Nedra had told her that after their father’s death, Kevin had removed several firearms from the home and changed the locks.
The complaint states that Nedra had told her daughter that she had noticed a light left on in the basement of the house that had not been on when she left the prior day.
Nedra Lemke, the complaint states, “was concerned enough about someone possibly breaking into the home that she removed a window air-conditioning unit. (She) also had taken to checking the property every day and documented its condition in a journal.”
Meanwhile, cellphone examination showed that Nedra reportedly called Kevin on the day of the murders, told him she would be going out to the farm and asked him to unlock a shed where the mower was stored.
Earlier text messages on the his phone showed that Anderson was discussing the details of the inheritance with his wife, the complaint states. When special agents executed a search warrant at Anderson’s home, which is approximately six miles away from his father’s home, his late father’s will was on the kitchen table.
“Despite extensive efforts to locate the defendant, including the execution of two search warrants on his home and property located in Jefferson County, Wis., and conversations with his wife and son, law enforcement has not been able to locate the defendant. An examination of the fire scene rubble did not locate any human remains,” the complaint states.
The homicide charges are Class A felonies, each carrying a sentence of life in prison if convicted.
The attempted homicide charge is a Class B felony with a maximum sentence, if convicted, of 60 years in prison, while the arson is a Class C felony with a maximum sentence of $100,000 and 40 years in prison.
The possession of a firearm by a felon is a Class G felony with a maximum sentence of $25,000 and 10 years in prison. According to CCAP records, Anderson was convicted in Jefferson County on Jan. 12, 1993, of three counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
ATF is working in partnership with the Jefferson Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Marshal Service.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation are leading the investigation with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory, Wisconsin State Patrol, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Milwaukee Police Department, Jefferson County medical examiner and DOJ’s Office of Crime Victim Services.