Remains identified in Jan. house explosion - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Remains identified in Jan. house explosion


WAUSAU (WAOW) – Marathon County Sheriff's Department officials have positively identified the human remains found inside a rural Wausau home after an explosion in January.

Officials say the remains are that of Jesse Jehn, who lived at the home on the 8300 block of Pioneer Lane. They say DNA analysis was required to identified him. The department received the results earlier this week.

Investigators say Jehn was killed in the explosion that destroyed his home and that he wanted to die, by rigging the property for a “very dramatic fire.”

Marathon County Sheriff's Department Capt. Greg Bean told Newsline 9 in January authorities believed Jehn only wanted to hurt himself. Bean said they suspected the remains were that of Jehn, but wanted to verify because the remains were severely burned.

No note or other evidence was left behind to confirm that Jehn intended to commit suicide with the explosion and fire, Bean said. But a “past history” with him strongly suggests suicide.

Investigators say four incendiary devices were also found at the home, indicating a plan to burn two cars, an outbuilding and a camper.

According to Bean, Jehn's mother lives out of state and he has one sister.

“As far as we know, he was unemployed,” the investigator said. “The property has been in the family for quite some time.”

In May, Newsline 9 discovered new details in the case. A closer look at the home and owner showed there were delinquent taxes on the home back in 2009.

The Marathon County Treasurer says the homeowner signed a tax deed notice in October meaning if taxes weren't paid the county could take the home. Months after the explosion, the Marathon County Finance and Property Committee voted to take possession of the property.

"There is concern that there could have been contamination form all those gas cans and things that had been left on the property," said Lorraine Beyersdorff, Marathon County Treasurer.

Neighbors say some days they can still smell the burnt debris.

Now the county is working to figure out how to clean up the property and who is going to pay for it.

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