A 21-year old Merrill man who has been under mental health commitment since shortly after a family member discovered his father’s deceased body on January 12 of last year, now faces several felony charges related to his father’s death; including 1st Degree Intentional Homicide.
On January 12, 2016, the deceased body of 55-year old Kevin Monroe of Merrill, was discovered on the floor of his upstairs Wisconsin Street apartment; which he shared with his son Tyler. Later that night, Tyler Monroe was taken into custody at gun-point by a Lincoln County deputy after a 7 hour search; following the discovery of Kevin Monroe’s car in a ditch on STH 107, near Tug Lake Road.
Since then, Monroe had been considered a person of interest in his father’s death, but had not yet been charged. However during a competency hearing last month, Monroe appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court with his attorney and according to court records; indicated he was competent to render a defense and waived the competency hearing. Upon review of a physician’s report, the court deemed Monroe was competent, discharged Monroe from commitment and ruled for criminal proceedings to resume.
Friday morning, Monroe was officially charged in connection with his father’s death, facing Felony charges of: 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, Hiding a Corpse, Take and Drive Vehicle Without Consent, two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm and two counts of Felony-Bail Jumping.
According to court records, officers and investigators of the Merrill Police Department responded to a report of a deceased male located in an upper apartment at 507 Wisconsin St. and Monroe’s body was subsequently discovered; covered with a sheet on the floor of his bedroom. Family and neighbors indicated having been concerned about Kevin Monroe, due to not hearing from Kevin since early January of 2016. Family and neighbors indicated last contact with Kevin had been on New Year’s Day of 2016.
The reporting party who found Monroe’s body, indicated he and other family members had become suspicious of Tyler Monroe’s responses to inquiries regarding his father’s absence and whereabouts. The reporting party indicated difficulty in opening Monroe’s bedroom door and Tyler Monroe becoming agitated when the reporting party attempted to enter. Tyler reportedly advised the reporting party his father had left town and would be “real mad” if the reporting party entered the bedroom. Tyler Monroe had reportedly continued to reside at the apartment during the period of his father’s sudden absence, from early January until the day his father was discovered. At one point, the reporting party “shouldered’ the door to gain entry, causing it to fall open and leading to the discovery of Monroe’s body on the floor. The reporting party indicated to investigators of the door appearing to have been glued shut. Inside the bedroom, a window had been left open and an oscilating fan placed near Monroe’s body. The temperature in the bedroom was reportedly below zero.
At 5 PM on the evening of January 12, a motorist on STH 107 reported observing Kevin Monroe’s car veer off STH 107 near Tug Lake Road and go into the ditch. Tyler Monroe was reportedly observed exiting the vehicle and removing a pair of blue latex gloves which he was wearing. At 5:06 PM a Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy investigated the area where the car was located and discovered a duffel bag. Deputies and officers from the Merrill Police Department followed Tyler Monroe’s snow footprints until 10:30 PM, when the search proved unsuccessful. At 11:04 PM, officers of the Merrill Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious male walking in the area of the search. When officers arrived, a Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy had Monroe at gun-point. Monroe was subsequently taken into custody and transported to Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center for medical clearance.
According to the criminal complaint, a search warrant was obtained to search the duffel bag and the interior of Kevin Monroe’s vehicle. A subsequent search yielded various makes and designs of firearms and ammunition; including a loaded .45 handgun. Other items discovered included blue latex gloves, red-stained black electrical tape, an insulated sleeping bag, camouflage and thermal clothing, several changes of clothes, personal care/hygiene items and credit cards belonging to Kevin Monroe. During a search of the Monroes’ apartment, a note was discovered reading: “Gone Business Trip Over Month.” Upon analysis by the Department of Criminal Investigation, Tyler Monroe was found to have written the note.
As a result of an autopsy on Jan 13. in Madison, Kevin Monroe’s cause of death was ruled to be a result of ‘Sharp force homicide’ caused by 26 stab wounds, including; four fatal wounds to the liver, three fatal wounds to the right lung and multiple other wounds to the face, neck, torso, shoulder, thigh and shin. An exact time and date of death court not be determined, however the Medical Examiner performing the autopsy concluded Kevin Monroe may have lost his life as late as January 4, but could have been several days earlier. Monroe’s employer indicated Monroe had last worked December 31 and was due back January 4, but did not show up for his shift and had not been seen or heard from since.
Tyler Monroe remains in the custody of the Lincoln County Jail on the original $100,000 cash bond, which was set when the case was initially filed for Felon in Possession of a Handgun charges on February 27. He returns to court January 26 for his preliminary and bond hearing.