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The murder trial of George Burch continues Thursday in Wisconsin. Burch is accused of killing Nicole VanderHeyden, who disappeared on May 21, 2016. The two allegedly met earlier that evening. Burch is now facing a trial for first-degree intentional murder, but he insists that he didn’t do it. Watch live in the player above.
Burch, whose DNA was found on VanderHeyden’s body, admits that he was with her the night of May 21. He has claimed that they were having sex in a car, when VanderHeyden’s boyfriend, Douglass Detrie, found them. Burch said that Detrie then killed the woman, and threatened Burch at gunpoint, making him move the body to the spot where investigators later found her.
Detrie took the stand on Wednesday, describing what happened the day VanderHeyden disappeared. He acknowledged that there had been some heated text messages between them that day, with VanderHeyden calling him “abusive asshole” and accusing him of cheating. Detrie told the court that he didn’t know where this was coming from and that he tried to calm things down. At the time, he was out drinking with friends, and he later went to a second bar where he thought he might find her, but she wasn’t there. As it got later, she stopped responding to him and he couldn’t reach her, he said.
When Detrie finally got home at around 2 a.m., Nicole wasn’t there, and the babysitter who was watching their child didn’t have any information as to where she could be. He testified that he assumed Nicole was still mad and was staying with a friend, not thinking that she might be in danger. It wasn’t until later the next day that he called the police after speaking with her family.
Detrie was initially viewed as a potential suspect and was even arrested, but later released without prosecutors pressing charges against him. Months later, Burch was arrested for VanderHeyden’s murder.
Detrie is expected to continue his testimony on Thursday.
Stay with Law&Crime.com and the Law&Crime Network for continuing coverage of the trial.
[Image via Brown County Jail]