LINCOLN COUNTY (WAOW) -- Authorities say three Merrill teenagers involved in numerous burglaries are now suspects in a DNR investigation in Lincoln County.
According to authorities, 17-year old Travis Dallman and two other minors are suspects in a series of thrill killings. Thrill killing is when a person kills wildlife for fun or for "the thrill."
According to DNR Warden Rick Peters, more than 30 deer were shot and left for dead during the winter months in the western part of the county.
"Thirty deer is a lot," Peters says. "That takes away from other hunters."
Peters says he believes several people are involved in the killings, but Dallman and two other minors are most likely connected.
"We have found connections between our investigations and the details of the burglaries and thefts in other counties," Peters explains.
Right now, DNR officials say the investigation is still in the early stages. But, charges are likely to be filed within the next few weeks.
"We are talking to witnesses and trying to piece together little bits of evidence," Peters says.
The three teens have also been linked to a series of burglaries through Lincoln, Marathon and Taylor counties. A fourth teen, 17-year-old Dylan Graap, is also suspected in those crimes. A deputy from the Taylor County Sheriff's Department says the group is linked to one known burglary and theft.
"They stole hunting and fishing equipment from a cabin," Chief Deputy Larry Woebbeking said. He also said the teens are linked to trespassing violations and the theft of maple syrup equipment.
On Tuesday, Dallman was formally charged with burglary in Lincoln County court after a firefighter spotted him and Graap breaking into a cabin near the town of Corning.
Two minors, a 16-year old girl and a 15-year old boy, were also taken into custody. Authorities say their cases will be handled in juvenile court.