Man confesses to killing Prairie du Chien woman - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Man confesses to killing Prairie du Chien woman

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PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (KWWL) -- Police announced Monday afternoon that the former boyfriend of a missing Prairie du Chien woman admitted to her murder.

Shannon Fischer went missing in December of 2006, just a few days before Christmas.

Prairie du Chien police chief Chad Abram said 26-year-old Michael Burroughs turned himself in at the Crawford County jail Sunday morning. After questioning, officials took him into formal custody.

"This is a very big, big case for the city of Prairie du Chien," Abram said. "I'm glad we have some type of closure at this time, but, like I said, it's still an open investigation. There's still a lot of things we need to do at this time."

Because it is an ongoing investigation, Abram would not comment on the crime scene or suspect's motive. Comments by the District Attorney, however, suggested evidence points to a violent murder, involving strangulation and suffocation of the victim.

Prairie du Chien resident Jeffrey Stiner said Monday's news is an especially big relief to him, since, he said, some people suspected him.

"Everybody was calling me a liar. I have nothing to lie about," Stiner said.

He said he and Fischer had two children together before breaking up in 2005, and the question of custody drew some unwanted attention.

"It just made it horrible, because everybody would just give me a dirty look, like I was the person who did something to her," Stiner said.

He said he learned two things today: that Burroughs confessed to the murder of Stiner's former girlfriend and that Burroughs lives right across the hall from him.

"Until Sunday," Stiner said, "when he turned himself in. Now I'm petrified. If he did that to Shannon, what says he ain't going to do it to me or those who are for Shannon?"

Burroughs is now in the Crawford County jail on $250,000 cash bond.

He appeared in court Monday afternoon via video conferencing, where Crawford County court commissioner Lynn Rider set that bond. The district attorney had asked for a $500,000 cash bond, but the judge lowered it, saying it needed to be high but she did take into consideration the fact that Burroughs turned himself in on his own free will.

Police say Fischer was last seen on the 200 block of East Blackhawk Avenue in Prairie du Chien. That's the same block as City Hall.

Stiner said Fischer lived with her boyfriend Burroughs and another male roommate in an apartment above Panka Shoes, and that's where Stiner's girlfriend-at-the-time dropped Fischer off the day Fischer disappeared.

Peggy Gallagher manages a store on that block and has lived in or around Prairie du Chien her whole life.

"The whole community has always wondered whatever happened to her," Gallagher said. "I'm sure this will help everyone to understand that it's a sad situation, but at least we can bring it to an end."

As Chief Abram said, however, it's an ongoing investigation.

Stiner said, "there's not enough closure yet. Until he's behind bars for it, for what he did. Then, maybe."

Burroughs will make his next court appearance Monday, October 18 at 2:15 p.m.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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