UPDATE: Janesville Police to Address Deaths, Disappearance

By: Jorge Rodas, AP
By: Jorge Rodas, AP

JANESVILLE (WIFR) – Janesville Police are trying to figure out what caused an elderly woman to drown in the Rock River. Mary Coulthard’s body was found on Friday near the same spot where officers say Clayton Courtney killed his girlfriend.

At this point, detectives don’t believe the two cases are linked but have found something disturbing surrounding Coulthard’s death.

Right now, police are looking into three separate cases – Mary Coulthard, Britney Cross, and Gerald Hockensmith. Two are now dead and one was still feared missing as of this morning.

Police now say 75-year old Mary Coulthard suffered injuries prior to drowning in the Rock River, but they’re not saying what kind of injuries. Police say they still believe Coulthard and Courtney did not cross paths and say both cases are not connected, although they aren’t ruling anything out completely.

Clayton was arrested and charged by police in Janesville last week for trying to stab his roommate to death. On that night, police say Courtney said he killed three people. Shortly afterward, two bodies were found in the Rock River, the latest being Coulthard’s and the first being Courtney’s ex-girlfriend Britney Cross.
Janesville Police are also now shifting their investigation after the stabbing victim changed his story.

On the night of the stabbing, Michael Clark told police Courtney had said “I killed three people tonight” but in a follow up interview, police say Clark says Courtney’s statement was “I killed three people” but didn’t say when. Now, police are expanding the time frame in which they’re asking the public for help to back track Courtney’s steps and try to determine if he indeed killed three people.

59-year-old Gerald Hockensmith, who has been missing since May 1st, is alive and well according to police. He was caught on a bank surveillance camera in Northern Wisconsin taking money out of his account


UPDATE: In a press conference today, Janesville Police said that Gerald Hockensmith is alive and well after he was seen on bank surveillance video in Northern Wisconsin Monday morning.

Detectives say they are looking to speak with him as to why he decided to go to northern Wisconsin.

Police are still looking into Clayton Courtney's recent past activities and say at this point there is still no direct connection to Coulthard.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Police in Janesville are planning to address concerns that two recent deaths and a third person's disappearance may be connected.

Community fears have been stoked after investigators learned a man arrested in a stabbing on May 4 said he had killed three people that night.

Officers discovered Brittany Cross, the man's girlfriend, dead behind a former furniture store the next morning. On Friday officers found Mary Coulthard's body in the Rock River. Now they're searching for Gerald Hockensmith, who was reported missing Wednesday.

Police have planned a news conference for Monday afternoon. They're calling the incidents separate issues.

The man accused in the stabbing, Clayton Courtney, faces multiple charges in that incident, including attempted homicide and reckless endangerment. His attorney didn't immediately return an email message Monday.


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