CHARLES CITY - A former Charles City teenager was one of three young men found shot to death Thursday in Verona, Wis., in what family and friends suspect may have been a gambling-related crime.
Dustin Wilson, 17, was found dead in a sleeping bag in a duplex apartment in the Madison suburb of 7,000 residents. A second victim is Jason McGuigan, 28, address unknown, according to the Wisconsin State Journal of Madison. The unidentified third man's relatives had not been notified Saturday.
Police released few details about the deaths, and no arrests had been made. But those who knew the men said the victims feared for their lives because one resident at the duplex owed money on gambling debts.
"Something's gone wrong," said Mike Snook, Wilson's stepfather, of Charles City. "He'd been calling his brothers and stuff and saying he's afraid, saying they're out to kill him and they had been shooting at him. But he would never say who."
Wilson left his hometown of Charles City nine months ago to live with his father in the La Crosse area, Snook said. He had recently spent time in the Vernon County Jail on a burglary charge for stealing items out of a car.
His girlfriend, who asked not to be identified, told the State Journal that he had ended up staying at the Verona home while trying to get together money to return home to Iowa.
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"He was a good kid," Mike Snook said. "He loved fishing. He was always smiling. He just got tied up into some bad people."
Wilson's mother, Sandra (Wilson) Snook, and siblings Jason Wilson, 18, David Snook, 14, and Jennifer Snook, 12, live in Charles City.
The slaying was reported to police just before 3 p.m. Thursday by a woman who reportedly looked into a window and saw a person lying in a pool of blood. The killer or killers appeared to take the victims by surprise, shooting them while they were in bed, investigators told the family. Wilson reportedly was shot twice in the head and once in the chest.
"The coroner said it looked like they were all sleeping," Mike Snook said.
Police combed the neighborhood for clues, but are talking with authorities nationwide, said Gary Hamblin with the Dane County Sheriff's Office.