Wisconsin Department of Justice
Press Release

UPDATE: Fort Atkinson Death Investigation


By - Jun 15th, 2021 04:37 pm

FORT ATKINSON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) State Fire Marshal’s Office, with assistance from Fort Atkinson Police Department, is investigating a suspicious death and residential fire that took place on Friday, June 11, 2021. The investigation also involved a statewide AMBER Alert late Friday night that resolved with the safe recovery of the child, shortly after the alert was issued.

Elizabeth M. Durkee, age 36 of Fort Atkinson, has been arrested and charged with first degree intentional homicide, strangulation and suffocation, arson of a building, and multilating a corpse. The criminal complaint and a booking photo are attached. As in any criminal proceeding, Durkee is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The prosecution is led by Jefferson County District Attorney Monica Hall.

On late Friday morning, Fort Atkinson Fire Department and Fort Atkinson Police Department were called to a residential fire on Foster Street in Fort Atkinson. Firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions and ultimately located a deceased adult victim in the residence. The Fort Atkinson Fire and Police Departments requested the State Fire Marshal’s Office at DOJ to investigate the death.

Investigators found the circumstances of the incident suspicious and were concerned for the location and imminent safety of a child that resided at the home. Law enforcement issued a statewide AMBER Alert. However, an investigative lead resulted in the safe recovery of the child before the alert was sent to wireless phones across the state.

All individuals involved in the incident were known to each other.

DCI is leading this investigation, with assistance from Fort Atkinson Police Department. Also assisting are Fort Atkinson Fire Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, Delavan Police Department and Lake Geneva Police Department. Also assisting are the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and DOJ Office of Crime Victim Services.

This investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.

Press release: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/news-releases/update-fort-atkinson-death-investigation

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