- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin prison inmate was charged Tuesday with killing a Wausau woman and burying her in the woods nearly four years ago after a botched robbery.

Kristopher Torgerson, 34, faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of attempted armed robbery and one count of hiding a corpse in connection with the death of Stephanie Low. Torgerson is currently serving a four-year sentence for possessing methamphetamine.

Torgerson’s attorney in the methamphetamine case, Leonard Kachinsky, said he’s been appointed as Torgerson’s public defender in the Low case. He stressed that Torgerson is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“We’ll make (prosecutors) prove it if they think they’ve got the case,” Kachinsky said.

According to a criminal complaint, Low, 22, disappeared from her apartment on October 10, 2010. Investigators discovered a safe in her apartment loaded with bags of cocaine, the complaint said.

Torgerson’s ex-wife told investigators that Torgerson said he killed Low because she owed him money, but he couldn’t find the safe with the drugs, according to the complaint. She also told investigators that Torgerson said he buried Low under a rock.

One of Torgerson’s fellow inmates at the Marathon County Jail told detectives that Torgerson told him he needed to get rid of Low’s hands because his DNA would be under her fingernails, the complaint said.

Torgerson’s girlfriend told investigators that Torgerson said on Oct. 10, 2010, that he had done something bad to Low and he wanted to take Low’s body to the girlfriend’s mother’s cabin near Wabeno.

She met Torgerson and another person at a gas station in Weston and led them to the cabin later that day, according to the complaint. The girlfriend also said that she heard through media reports that police had found drugs in Low’s apartment, and Torgerson responded, “That’s what I was looking for,” according to the complaint.

The person who went to the cabin with Torgerson, like the other informants, isn’t named in the complaint. He told detectives he helped carry Low’s body from the apartment to Torgerson’s Jeep. He said he saw Torgerson buy a shovel and use it to dig a grave in a clearing in the forest, the complaint said. After burying the body, Torgerson rolled a large rock over it, he said.

Wausau Police announced last week that a suspect led them to Low’s grave on Sept. 19. The complaint said Torgerson took them to the grave. A broken knife and a key for the drug safe were found with her body.

Torgerson is due to make an initial court appearance on Oct. 15.

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