Woman's body found; Police look for connections to man who claimed to kill 3
Updated On: May 05 2014 09:12:22 PM CDT
The discovery of a woman's body in Janesville has police looking for possible connections to the arrest of a man who claimed to have killed three people.
Janesville Police Chief David Moore said the woman's body was found behind a former furniture store at 533 N. Main St. at 5:45 a.m. on Monday. The woman has not been identified and is undergoing an autopsy.
Moore said a man arrested in a stabbing incident claimed to have recently killed three people. Before the stabbing, Clayton J. Courtney, 28, said, "I've already killed three people tonight. We are all going to die," Moore said.
Police said he also threatened to harm the unborn child of a female co-tenant.
According to police, Courtney also attempted to set a fire to a car at the residence.
"The subsequent investigation revealed that prior to the fight, that Mr. Courtney attempted to set a vehicle on fire while it was parked and attached to the garage. He also damaged cabinets in the kitchen," Moore said.
Residents who live nearby call the area safe but said Sunday's stabbing is worrisome.
"When you can't feel safe in your own home then maybe it's time for a change," neighbor Wayne Fisher said.
Police said Courtney was covered in mud and blood when he was arrested, and the mud was not consistent with the scene on Pontiac Drive where he was arrested.
Michael Clark, 28, the victim of the stabbing, was taken to Mercy Hospital in Janesville for treatment of what has been called a near fatal stab wound.
Courtney only lived at the Pontiac Drive residence a couple months, according to neighbors. Those who live close by said they heard a disturbance, but are shocked by the outcome.
"As I was getting ready to turn in for the night I heard an altercation or a loud discussion from across the street, and I looked out the window to see the woman of the house talking to someone in an animated fashion. I didn't want to intrude so I just watched for a few minutes to make sure there wasn't anything bad that I observed going on, and then I just retired for the night," said neighbor Jack Macpherson.
Investigators also said Courtney was believed to be in the area of the Rock River near the Memorial Street Bridge and told others he was going to drink and do drugs with a female friend under the bridge.
The woman's body was discovered by officers as they were searching the area. Janesville police have not named Courtney as a suspect in the death of the woman found on Main Street. However police say if Courtney's claims are true, there could be more victims.
"Taking Mr. Courtney at his word, we have two additional victims in this community," Moore said.
Courtney has been tentatively charged with attempted first-degree reckless homicide, attempted arson, criminal damage and disorderly conduct. He is being held at the Rock County Jail.
Police don't believe the body is that of the missing 75-year-old Mary Coulthard of Janesville, who was last seen in the 200 block of North Main Street about 10 p.m. Friday. Moore said the body found Monday was that of someone who was much younger.
He said some of Coulthard's property was found on the Milwaukee Street bridge and south of the bridge near the Rock River.
Courtney is not considered a suspect in either case, according to Moore.
Moore said anyone with information about Courtney and his recent whereabouts is asked to contact Janesville police at 608-755-3100 or Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636.
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