Motive unknown: Mother prepares to bury youngest victim of Wisconsin murder spree

Updated: August 14, 2019 06:37 PM

Authorities are still searching for a motive in a killing spree that left four people dead, including an 8-year-old boy, in late July.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin announced Wednesday that a vehicle they were trying to locate was found but didn't provide new information.


It comes a day after the remains of 8-year-old Calvin returned to California, according to his mother Portia German.

"You hear it in stories, mothers and fathers who lose their children, but you don't ever think it's going to happen to you," said German.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office said Ritchie German Jr. fatally shot his 66-year-old mother, Bridget German, 32-year-old brother, Douglas German, and his nephew, Calvin, in a Lafayette, Wisconsin, home in late July.

Ritchie German Jr., 33, then drove to the Vang family home in Lake Hallie where authorities said he killed 24-year-old Laile and wounded her parents before he turned the shotgun on himself.

But at last check, authorities have yet to find a motive for the murders.

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"So many emotions, I feel anger because none of them deserved this, none of them," said Portia German. “To top it off, he killed himself, he doesn't have to live with this, but all of us who lost loved ones — we have to live with this rest of our life."

Portia said she was estranged from her ex-husband, Douglas, who lived in Wisconsin with their son and never met his brother Ritchie Junior.

She said her mind races down so many painful paths wondering why Calvin was shot in the head.

"I can't even tell you how many scenarios I've made up in my mind of how it happened and why it happened," German said.

Calvin’s classmates gathered at his Chippewa Falls school earlier this week for a memorial.

"I was extremely proud — my son we so loved, everybody loved him,” said German. “He was an amazing person.”

The family set up a GoFundMe account to help with burial expenses, which you can view here.

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Eric Chaloux

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