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The murder trial of George Burch continues out of Wisconsin on Wednesday. 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.
Prosecutors say that phone data shows that he Burch was near the area where VanderHeyden’s body was eventually found. Detrie had initially been arrested and investigated for the crime, but was released. Later on, Burch was charged with murder.
On Wednesday, the court heard from Dallas Kennedy, a friend of VanderHeyden’s who was babysitting her child the night she was killed. Kennedy said that when Detrie came home but VanderHeyden didn’t, she was concerned.
“Doug immediately asked if I had heard from Nikki,” Kennedy recalled, saying she was confused by the question because she expected them to be together. She said she then repeatedly tried to call VanderHeyden’s cell phone, but it was dead.
Kennedy told the court that Detrie was worried when they couldn’t reach VanderHeyden. Detrie filed a missing person’s report the next day.
VanderHeyden’s sister, Heather Meyer, also testified. She recalled how she was preparing to search for her sister when she saw on the news that a body had been found. “We prayed it wasn’t her,” she said.
Stay with Law&Crime.com and the Law&Crime Network for continuing coverage of the trial.
[Image via Brown County Jail]