The husband of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was charged Tuesday with killing his autistic stepbrother in Wisconsin last summer and freezing the body.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies arrested Jeffrey Vogelsberg, 28, late Monday at the base’s main gate. It’s unclear when he will be extradited to Wisconsin to face charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of 27-year-old Matthew Graville.
At a news conference Tuesday, Dane County, Wis., Sheriff Dave Mahoney said Graville was tortured and abused by Vogelsberg, who killed him, froze his body in a freezer and then buried it near Mazomanie, Wis., last July.
“In 33 years, 25 as a detective, I find it difficult to find another case where an individual took advantage of a developmentally disabled male for their own entertainment,” Mahoney told The Wisconsin State Journal. “Matthew lived a living hell, one in which he could only find peace in death.”
Graville’s mother reported him missing in September, telling police she hadn’t spoken with him since March and that he’d been living with his stepbrother in Mazomanie. The men met when Graville, who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, was 4.
Graville’s body was found Monday in a makeshift grave. It had been buried on state Department of Natural Resources land. A cause of death is pending, but Vogelsberg is accused of repeatedly beating and torturing his stepbrother.
Vogelsberg’s mother and his landlord also might be charged in the case. Authorities said the stepmother stole from Graville’s bank accounts, and the landlord helped bury the body.
Court documents tell this story:
Vogelsberg severely beat Graville in the bathroom of their home one night in July while preparing to leave for Missouri, where Vogelsberg’s wife was about to graduate from Army basic training. The landlord described the beating as “waterboarding” and said Vogelsberg believed Graville was poisoning his children.
Vogelsberg has a history of beating his stepbrother and shooting him with a BB gun.
The next morning, the landlord found Graville dead on the couch, surrounded by pill bottles. Vogelsberg told his landlord to put the body in a freezer in the garage and threatened to kill him if the landlord told anyone.
Graville’s body stayed in the freezer for four days until Vogelsberg returned from Missouri. He and the landlord then buried the body in a rural area. The landlord told police he complied because Vogelsberg was armed with a gun.
JBLM officials were unable Tuesday to say when Vogelsberg and his wife moved to the base.Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653 stacia.glenn@ thenewstribune.com