UPDATE: First suspect charged in Wausau homicide - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: First suspect charged in Wausau homicide

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

One of the suspects in a Wausau murder investigation now faces multiple charges -- including reckless homicide, burglary and theft.

Police found the body of Kerby Kniess on Tuesday morning -- in the garage where he had been staying. Authorities said Kniess was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

Within hours of the apparent homicide, a tip from a citizen in the neighborhood helped authorities pinpoint who the suspects may be. Wausau Police Deputy Chief Bryan Hilts said one of those suspects came back to the scene of the crime later that day.

"One of our officers who was watching the crime scene actually observed Warren coming toward the residence to meet with the son that lives there," said Hilts.

20-year-old Warren Krohn is behind bars now. He made his first appearance in Marathon County court on Thursday afternoon. Krohn is charged with first degree reckless homicide, armed robbery, armed burglary and burglary of an occupied dwelling, all felonies. He also faces on charge of misdemeanor theft.

"As referenced in the criminal complaint, there are several felony charges as well as a single misdemeanor," said Marathon County assistant district attorney Lance Leonhard." At this point, based on the facts that we know, we elected to charge first degree reckless homicide."

Authorities said Kniess was beaten to death with a baseball bat. Zachary Froehlich is in custody as well -- but hasn't been charged yet.

According to the criminal complaint, Krohn told investigators he saw Kniess being hit with a baseball bat three or four times. But the reports do not say who did it. Authorities still said burglary was the initial motive.

"At this point, we believe they were going in to steal cigarettes, alcohol and money," said Hilts. "I can confirm the theft of $21."

According to a preliminary autopsy report, a forensic pathologist told police he doesn't see this severe of an injury in assaults. Only in major trauma incidents -- like car crashes. And there are still many questions left in this case.

"This investigation is far from being complete but at this point it seems that their culpability is fairly similar," said Hilts.

Krohn remains behind bars and does not have an attorney yet in this case. He's due back in court next week. As for Froehlich, authorities said they plan to charge him on Friday or early next week.

Krohn's bond has been set for $250,000.

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