A Lake Elmo woman and her sister who were shot and killed last week near Madison, Wisconsin, will be laid to rest Friday in Stillwater. Meantime, the husband of one of the sisters, who has ALS, is awaiting murder charges, KSTP reports.
Kacee Tollefsbol, 38, of Lake Elmo (pictured below), and her sister, 39-year-old Ashley Steele, were killed at Steele's home in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, on Friday, and Steele's husband Andy is suspected of pulling the trigger. Andy Steele, 39, is being treated at a hospital for injuries consistent with a suicide attempt, according to Fitchburg police. Charges are likely to be filed against him within the next few days.
A memorial service for the sisters is Friday at 2 p.m. at the Church of St. Michael in Stillwater.
Andy Steele was diagnosed two months ago with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and had to retire from his job as a Dane County sheriff's deputy due to his condition.
ALS attacks nerve cells and leads to paralysis and death. The average life expectancy is two to five years after diagnosis.
It's not yet clear what would cause Steele to shoot his wife and sister-in-law, but the incident has shocked friends and colleagues.
“There are many deputies who are struggling with what occurred ... and it’s very difficult to do — to make sense out of nonsense,” Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Ashlee Steele died from a gunshot wound to the head, and Tollefsbol was shot in the back, according to autopsy reports.
Court documents say after she was shot, Tollefsbol was able to call 911 and told the dispatcher that Andy Steele had shot her, WKOW reports. Officers who arrived on the scene were able to speak with Tollefsbol before she died, and she again identified Steele as the shooter.
Officers found Andy Steele in a laundry room with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun nearby, according to the court documents.
The Steeles were childhood sweethearts and had been married for 16 years, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. They have a 13-year old son and a 10-year-old daughter.
Ashlee Steele worked as a preschool teacher. She was also actively involved in fundraising efforts on behalf of her husband to help pay for specialized equipment that he would need for his care, and Tollefsbol was helping her.
Tollefsbol, who was studying to be a nurse, was married just a month ago. She and her husband have four children ages 9-12, according to her obituary.
The sisters lived in California and Michigan before moving to Minnesota when they were teenagers. They are survived by their parents, who live in Stillwater, as well as a brother, a sister and a grandmother. Their paternal grandmother died on the same day they did, according to their obituaries.
Memorial funds have been set up for both women for the benefit of their children. Donors may contribute to either fund at any Wells Fargo branch bank.
Donors to the Kacee Tollefsbol Memorial Fund should mention account number 658-421-5997.
Donors to the Ashlee Steele Memorial Fund should refer to account number 658-421-6003.