On CBS News’ ‘48 Hours: The Snapchat Clue,’ the viewers learn about the heinous murders of Bart and Krista Halderson. While they were initially reported missing by their son, Chandler Halderson, the investigation took a turn when tips led to the discovery of Bart and Krista’s remains in different locations. Chandler eventually stood trial for their murders, and testimony from his former girlfriend, Cathryn Mellender, was crucial for the prosecution. So, if you’re curious to find out more about her, here’s what we know.
Who is Cathryn Mellender?
Cathryn Mellender and Chandler Halderson had been in a relationship for about two years when the incident occurred. She was also close to Bart and Krista. Furthermore, Cathryn later testified that she was possibly the one who spent the most amount of time with Chandler in the days leading up to his arrest. On July 7, 2021, he reported Bart and Krista missing after claiming they left home on July 2, 2021, for their property in Langlade County, Wisconsin.
As part of the investigation, the police spoke to Cathryn, who fully cooperated with the authorities. She later said, “I just believed his parents were missing. And I just want them to be found.” As part of that, Cathryn let the police go through her phone data. At that point, she had been keeping tabs on Chandler using Snapchat because he had cheated on her in the past. On July 3, 2021, Cathryn noticed that he was in a remote location in Roxbury, Wisconsin, near a river and took a screenshot of that information.
When the authorities searched that location, they found Krista’s remains. Before that, on July 4, 2021, Chandler was with Cathryn, her mother, Dulce, and her mother’s partner, Cresent L’Sai. They were on Cresent’s farm in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. Testimony revealed that on July 5, 2021, Chandler asked to use the pool and was later seen in the wooded area where Bart’s torso was found.
Cathryn, then 21 years old, testified that she believed everything Chandler told her. At the time, Cathryn thought he studied at Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin and worked at American Family Insurance. Chandler had also told her about taking a job with SpaceX in Florida. In fact, she planned to move to Florida to be with him after August 2021. However, Cathryn didn’t see anything that supported these claims, like his grades or money. Furthermore, at one point before his arrest, Chandler had asked her to bring over hydrogen peroxide, ice, and a mop, which the authorities believed he used to clean up.
Where is Cathryn Mellender Today?
Cathryn also testified about visiting Chandler’s house on July 2, 2021, and smelling smoke. But he claimed that the glass pane on the fireplace broke while playing fetch with one of his dogs. However, the authorities found bone fragments inside the fireplace later. According to Cathryn’s family, Chandler had talked about losing out on the SpaceX job because of a severe concussion, but experts testified that it was a mild injury.
In the end, Chandler was convicted of his parents’ murders, and Cathryn’s testimony was essential to prove his guilt. Since then, she has understandably maintained a low profile. From what we can tell, Cathryn studied at La Follette High School in Madison and played tennis while she was there. Cathryn planned to attend Madison College, but her current status is unclear. It seems that she lives in Wisconsin and adopted a pet dog a few years ago.
Read More: How Did Bart and Krista Halderson Die?