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Jerry Holt, Star Tribune 

Louie Lauderdale, of Lake Geneva, Wis., searches near a cornfield north of Barron in October in this file photo.

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Injured Girl Scout released from hospital, back at home in Chippewa Falls

Madalyn Zwiefelhofer has come home.

Madalyn, the 10-year-old girl who survived the Nov. 3 crash in Lake Hallie that killed four others, left Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Marys Campus, in Rochester, Minn., last week and is back in Chippewa Falls.

“Our family is home,” said Madalyn’s mother, Dianne Zwiefelhofer. “It’s really great to have her home.”

Dianne said her family has decided to do no further media interviews at this time.

The Zwiefelhofers posted a picture of the family on their Facebook page, with everyone wearing identical green shirts that acknowledge the day of the crash with the word “love,” using the Girl Scout logo in place of the o. Madalyn is seated in the center of the family photo.

Dianne also posted a picture of boxes of get-well cards that Madalyn has received from Girl Scouts across the country.

The GoFundMe page set up for Madalyn after the crash had reached $98,815 as of Wednesday morning. Dianne previously said she was thankful for the donations because the money will pay for the helicopter flight and ambulance ride, hospital bills, hotel stays, travel expenses, home remodeling and physical therapy.

Madalyn suffered two broken legs, a displaced pelvis, a broken cheekbone and numerous injuries to her internal organs, including her liver, kidneys and spleen. She’s already had successful heart surgery and will need a future surgery to repair a damaged muscle in her right leg.

Five adults and seven Girl Scouts in Troop 3055 were cleaning up debris on the side of Highway P on Nov. 3 when the tragic crash occurred at 11:40 a.m.

Colten R. Treu, 21, 1060 Joseph St., Chippewa Falls, admits he was huffing chemicals from an aerosol spray when he struck five people, killing Jayna S. Kelley, 9, Autumn A. Helgeson, 10, Haylee J. Hickle, 10, and her mother, Sara Jo Schneider, 32. Madalyn Zwiefelhofer had been hospitalized since the crash.

Treu has been charged with 11 counts: four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, four counts of hit and run-involving death, and one count each of hit and run-causing great bodily harm, intentionally abusing hazardous materials and bail jumping. He remains incarcerated on a $250,000 cash bond. He returns to court Dec. 11.

A green-hooded sweatshirt sale is a fundraiser with the money going to Sara Jo Schneider’s son for a college account. Former Lake Hallie police Officer Travis Hakes, who now works for the Chetek Police Department, is selling the sweatshirts at several area businesses, including Shadick’s Hardware and Fatboy’s Family Restaurant in Bloomer and the Blue Marble Pub, Loopy’s tavern, Sokup’s Market, B & G Liquor and Pam’s Novelty Cleaners in Chippewa Falls. People also can order them by contacting Hakes at

Candlelight vigil held for Girl Scouts and volunteer killed Saturday
Candlelight vigil held for Girl Scouts and volunteer killed Saturday


Madalyn Zwiefelhofer is back at home after spending weeks in a Rochester hospital. Zwiefelhofer, 10, survived the Nov. 3 crash in Lake Hallie that killed four others.

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Man shot in Dunn-Eau Claire county chase pleads guilty

A man shot by police after an August high-speed chase in Dunn and Eau Claire counties has pleaded guilty to two felonies and will be sentenced in February.


Reese A. Diesterhaft, 24, was convicted Monday in Dunn County court to burglary-arming with a dangerous weapon and fleeing or eluding an officer.

On Aug. 7 in a southern Dunn County store on Highway 58, Diesterhaft tried to kiss a woman and asked if she wanted to have sex with him. He left the store; when deputies approached him at Luer’s Grocery in the town of Rock Creek, he spurred a car chase that reached 95 mph.

When Diesterhaft approached the Eau Claire county line, deputies saw him reach into the back seat and retrieve a rifle, according to the criminal complaint.

Deputies found Diesterhaft in the town of Brunswick, where he came out of his vehicle holding a rifle. He was shot by two deputies, handcuffed and taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

Diesterhaft told the investigators that he was on the run from South Dakota and came to Wisconsin to visit his father before “I pass.” He said he wanted to get a handgun from his father’s house to shoot himself but all that was there were long rifles. On the hunt for handgun, Diesterhaft said, he stole a rifle from an unlocked house between Rock Falls and Caryville. He said he wanted to “do something stupid” so that law enforcement would have to shoot him because he did not want to go back to prison, according to the criminal complaint.

Diesterhaft formerly pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Three other charges — possessing a firearm as a felon and two misdemeanors — against Diesterhaft were dismissed and read in on Monday.

Dunn County Judge James Peterson ordered a presentence investigation and set Diesterhaft’s sentencing for 3:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

Wednesday, Diesterhaft was in custody at the Dunn County Jail.

Chippewa County's most wanted: A list of those with active warrants out for their arrest
Chippewa County's most wanted: A list of those with active warrants out for their arrest