CHIPPEWA FALLS — As Chippewa County investigators combed through data on Ritchie German Jr.’s phone this week they made a surprising discovery. German — who shot and killed 24-year-old Laile Vang July 28 at her Lake Hallie home — had not only called Laile, he also had called her dad, Teng Vang, in the early morning hours of July 18.
Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said the first call, to Laile’s phone, came in at 3:18 a.m. that morning. The call lasted less than a minute, and Kowalczyk doubts she picked up the phone.
Then, at 3:54 a.m., German called Teng Vang. Like the first call, it was short and Teng likely didn’t pick it up.
“The (Lake Hallie officer) is going to follow up with Teng, to see if he remembers the call coming in,” Kowalczyk said.
This latest discovery is just one more bizarre twist in this case, Kowalczyk said. Investigators still don’t know how German knew Laile Vang or how he had her phone number, and now they don’t know how he also had Teng’s number. German had sent texts to her that police described as being sexual in nature, but she responded to him by saying she didn’t know who he was, Kowalczyk explained.
The shooting occurred at 13578 45th Ave. at 10:20 p.m. July 28. German pulled up to the house, left the car running, and shot in the door to the house with a shotgun.
Before German shot and killed Laile Vang, then himself, he shot her parents, Teng and Mai Chang Vang in the arm with a shot gun. The damage was so severe that they each had their damaged arm amputated. Kowalczyk said that Mai Chang Vang has now been released from an area hospital. Police found 10 spent shell casings at the scene.
An online fundraiser at gofundme.com has raised more than $46,400 in the past week for the Vang family for medical expenses.
Vang’s funeral will be Sunday at The Florian Gardens in Eau Claire. She will be buried Monday at Forest Hill Cemetery in Chippewa Falls.
On Wednesday, Kowalczyk asked the public for help in locating a car that was previously registered to German. The blue 1999 Pontiac Sunfire is a four-door sedan, with a Wisconsin license plate 627-MUK. Kowalczyk said his office received a handful of tips, but the vehicle hasn’t turned up yet.
The hope is that locating the car will also turn up some of German’s belongings, which also might provide clues into the shooting deaths of three of his family members — his mother, 66-year-old Bridget German, his brother, 32-year-old Douglas German, and Douglas’ eight-year-old son, Calvin — in the town of Lafayette home on or about July 26, and the shooting at the Vang family home on July 28.
The sheriff’s department is asking that if you have seen the car, to contact them at 715-726-7714.