Freeport stabbing suspect pleads not guilty for stabbing ex-girlfriend to death

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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) -- Updated: Feb. 11, 2019, 2:30 p.m.

Courtesy: Freeport Police Department

Chad Blaser, the suspect in the fatal stabbing death of Gabriel Petsche appeared in court for the first time Monday afternoon. He has pled not guilty to all charges.

Three Freeport detectives described different aspects of the investigation, such as the interview with Blaser, what they witnessed at the scene, and what they heard from several people who watched the alleged attack.

The first witness - Detective Tony Bradbury - said he found Petsche's body lying on West Avenue, along with a knife that had the tip broken off of it. Investigators later found a black male that they indicated to be Blaser, in a cemetery nearby with blood on his palms and clothing.

The first words out of Blaser's mouth were allegedly, "Is she okay?" Detectives also remember Blaser saying, "I didn't do her too bad, did I?"

Accounts from the Stephenson County Coroner later determined that Petsche's cause of death was sharp-force injuries. She was found with 40 stab wounds.

Detectives also said that Blaser's only injuries were lacerations on his hand that they described as slippage wounds. They said those indicate a knife attack.

Detectives said Blaser told them he blacked out during the actual attack and only remembered that it started with an argument about visitation rights for their 11-month-old child, who was in the back seat at the time of the attack.

Blaser is being held at a 10 percent bond of $400,000 dollars. That means he needs $40,000 to bail out.

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Updated: Feb. 4, 2019, 6:45 p.m.

In just 21 years, Gabriel Petsche made an impact on many people.

Lindsey Greenfield, a close friend, met Petsche while both were in a pregnancy support group through Facebook.

"She was a great person, she went through a lot, through her backgrounds, before and right when she found out she was pregnant," Greenfield said.

Greenfield only knew Petsche for a short time, but she remembers her dedication for her family, including her young son.

"She was a very caring, loving mother," Greenfield said. "She took care of her child, she stepped up and got a job and she just went forth to where she needed to be able to take care of her kid."

Greenfield says they bonded over their shared experiences as young, first-time mothers. She never imagined anything like this could happen to Petsche.

"It was a very vicious attack, cowardly attack and it was a gruesome scene," Greenfield said.

Petsche's ex-boyfriend, Chad Blaser, was arrested Friday in connection to the stabbing death. He faces several charges, including first-degree murder.
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Updated: Feb. 4, 2019, 2:45 p.m.

Police release the name of a woman stabbed to death in Freeport on Friday night.

Gabriel Petsche, 21, was identified as the victim.

Police arrested Chad Blaser, Petsche's ex-boyfriend, on first-degree murder charges. He is accused of stabbing Petsche several times in the head, back and stomach.

Additional charges were announced against Blaser on Monday. He was also charged with aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated domestic battery, domestic battery with a prior conviction, domestic battery and child endangerment.

Blaser is being held at Stephenson County Jail on a $400,000 bond. He is considered innocent unless proven guilty by the court of law.

An autopsy for Petsche is set for Monday. The death remains under investigation.

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Updated: Feb. 1, 2019, 9:40 p.m.

Police confirm a woman was murdered after being stabbed to death in Freeport on Friday night.

The suspect, Chad Blaser, is in custody for first-degree murder charges. Freeport Police say he was an ex-boyfriend of the victim.

Freeport Police responded to reports of a man physically assaulting a woman around 5 p.m. This came in the area of West Avenue and Pleasant Street at the scene of a car crash.

Officers found the woman unresponsive once they arrived near the vehicle and on the ground. The woman had suffered multiple stab wounds to her back, abdomen and head.

The woman was taken to a hospital where she later died from her injuries. Police are choosing to withhold the victim's name until her family is notified.

Blaser is being held at Stephenson County Jail. Police expect to announce additional charges Monday.

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Updated: Feb. 1, 2019, 8:20 p.m.

Police say a woman is in serious condition after being stabbed near W. Elk Street in Freeport.

According to the Freeport Police Department, the suspect, a man, was taken into custody.

The Freeport Police Department will release more information soon.

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Published: Feb. 1, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

A heavy police presence has closed off part of W. Elk Street in Freeport.

Details are limited, but police are asking drivers to avoid the area.

This is a developing story. We will continue to update as more information becomes available.