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Deputies investigating UW-Whitewater student’s death

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Kevin Hoffman
June 1, 2011
— A UW-Whitewater student found dead Monday walked alone one mile to the outskirts of the city before falling into a rock quarry, Walworth County investigators believe.

The sheriff’s office continues to investigate the death of Mark J. Wegener, 20, who went missing two days before searchers recovered his body Monday morning. Capt. Dana Nigbor of the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office said Wegener’s death has not yet been ruled accidental, but police earlier said they have dismissed foul play.


Friends said Wegener left a house party at Boone Court and Center Street in Whitewater after 1 a.m. Saturday. They said he appeared alert enough to walk home, which was two blocks away on South Cottage Street.


Family and friends reported Wegener missing Saturday and posted fliers throughout the community.


Some news reports indicated Wegener’s cell phone records showed he made it to within a block of his home, but Nigbor said cell phone towers are not precise when searching for an individual signal. Wegener could have been anywhere within an eight-block radius of his home, she estimated.


Searchers were able to locate Wegener after a resident called police. Nigbor said a man told authorities he saw someone matching Wegener’s description walking in the direction of the quarry.


The limestone quarry, located just south of Cravath Lake, has some fencing around it, Nigbor said. Wegener fell about 70 feet to the base of the quarry.


An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, but the results were not yet available to the sheriff’s office. Nigbor said she expects to learn the cause of death this week, and a toxicology report won’t be available for a couple weeks.



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