Bart and Krista Halderson Murders: How Did They Die? Who Killed Them?

Image Credit: Halderson Family/Gunderson Funeral Home

In July 2021, a loving couple suddenly went missing, which their son brought to the authorities’ attention. But as the investigation intensified, it became increasingly apparent that Bart and Krista Halderson were not missing but murdered. CBS News’ ’48 Hours: The Snapchat Clue’ focuses on the tragic story behind Bart and Krista’s murder and the attempted cover-up that followed. So, let’s find out more about this case then, shall we?

How Did Bart and Krista Halderson Die?

Bart and Krista Halderson were Wisconsin natives who later got their Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The couple married in July 1994 and had two sons, Chandler and Mitchell. While 50-year-old Bart worked as a Certified Accountant, 53-year-old Krista was an Administrative Assistant for an automotive company. By all accounts, the beloved couple appeared to have a great life together in Windsor, Wisconsin. Apart from being devoted parents, Bart and Krista loved attending local football games and supported multiple organizations.

On July 7, 2021, Bart and Krista’s younger son, Chandler, reported his parents missing, saying that he had not seen them since July 2, 2021. According to him, they had planned to go to their property in Langlade County, Wisconsin, with some friends. But further investigation revealed that Bart and Krista never left their home. On July 8, some of Bart’s remains were found on a property in rural Cottage Grove in Dane County, Wisconsin. As for Krista, part of her remains were found 40 miles away in Roxbury, Wisconsin, on July 14, 2021. Bart had gunshot wounds, and both bodies were dismembered and disposed of.

Bart and Krista Halderson Were Killed by Their Son Chandler

After Chandler Halderson told the authorities about his parents possibly traveling up to Langlade County, they checked the house but didn’t find Bart and Krista there. The house was locked, and it appeared that nobody had recently visited. Furthermore, a family member told police they had last seen Bart and Krista on July 1, 2021. According to Chandler, his mother texted him on July 4, 2021, but he said he didn’t hear from them after that. As part of the investigation, the authorities searched the property of the family of Chandler’s then-girlfriend; he had been dating Cathryn Mellender.

Cathryn’s mother, Dulce Mellender, was in a relationship with Cresent L’Sai. The police learned that Chandler visited Cresent’s property on July 5 and asked to use the pool. He was alone and had driven there in one of his parents’ cars. According to Cresent, Chandler had the rear hatch open and was seen in a wooded area and also near the shed. When the police searched the area on July 8, they found Bart’s torso with a gunshot wound.

On July 14, the authorities searched a property in Roxbury based on Chandler’s location information on Cathryn’s Snapchat. They found remains there, which were later identified as Krista’s. It was now a double homicide investigation, and Chandler had become the main suspect. When the shed at Cresent’s property was searched, a rifle was located hidden behind some boards. Then, a search of the Halderson home revealed more evidence. Bart and Krista’s phones were found in a shoe in the garage. They were wrapped in tin foil and paper towels.

Phone records revealed that Krista’s phone never pinged from Langlade County, and the text sent from her cellphone suggested it was sent from Dane County, Wisconsin, where Windsor is located. Moreover, on July 8, Chandler searched online regarding whether his parents’ bodies were found. There was also damage to the fireplace in the house, with the police finding bone fragments inside. The police noted blood on the laundry room floor, bathroom floorboards, and a vacuum cleaner. In addition, the testing in the basement and the drain in a freezer suggested the presence of blood.

The officers also found a black rope in the house similar to the one wrapped around Bart’s remains. With the evidence mounting against the pair’s younger son, the question was why Chandler committed the murders. The prosecution stated that Bart had lied to his parents about attending a college in Wisconsin, working with the Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department and the Department of National Resources. Chandler had also lied about working with an insurance company and told his girlfriend about a job at SpaceX waiting for him.

The authorities believed Bart learned about these lies when he called the university and found no proof of his son attending. So, to cover that up, Chandler killed his parents and disposed of the remains in different locations. They theorized that he used a saw and scissors to cut up the bodies before burning some remains and dumping others. Ultimately, the jury found him guilty of several counts, including murder and mutilating a corpse. In March 2022, Chandler Halderson was sent away for life without the possibility of parole.

Read More: Where is Chandler Halderson Now?