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A new police leader means new worries, for some

By Dannika Lewis, dlewis@wisctv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:26:00 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 17 2013 11:29:26 AM CDT

Brittany Zimmermann

MADISON, Wis. -

When asked about his biggest regrets in his time as Madison police chief, Noble Wray had a list to share. But his first answer was unsolved homicides.

“When you take the oath of office, you're not only taken to save lives and public safety, but it’s the ability to bring closure to friends and family of those victims some degree of closure,” Wray said. “Yes, I think about those often.”

One of those cases that has yet to be closed is the mystery of Brittany Zimmermann.

The UW-Madison student was 21 years old when she was killed in her home. Police have yet to find the person who killed her, and Brittany’s mother, Jean, is not giving up.

“I definitely hope it’s someone who we know and that has been familiar with the case, that the detectives on Brittany's case have had to report to them, whoever it may be,” Zimmermann said. “They've had multiple people that have been there, their kind of supervisors. And I truly hope its one of them because I do fear that if it’s someone who is not familiar with the case that it may not proceed in the manner that it has in the last five and a half years.”

Zimmermann said she was happy to hear Assistant Chief Randy Gaber was temporarily taking over. She said Gaber has extensive knowledge of the case, and she is confident that investigations will continue under his leadership. Zimmermann said she can only hope the same for the person who will permanently hold that position.

“I just pray that whoever takes over, that they agree with everything that's been going on, and they foresee this coming to the finale of finding the person,” Zimmermann said. “I just can't even imagine the five and a half years that have gone past and letting it go off to the side. It's really hard for us to even think about.”

Zimmermann praised Wray for his support and communication over the last five-and-a-half years.

“I'm sure it's very hard for him to see investigations that are not being solved in his department,” Zimmerman said.

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