Retired sheriff arrested in deaths of wife, sister-in-law

A recently retired sheriff's deputy has been arrested in the shooting deaths on Friday of his wife and her sister at his home on Yarmouth Greenway Drive, according to a City of Fitchburg news release.

Several local news reports reported that Andrew Steele, 39, had been diagnosed recently with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a debilitating nerve condition more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was identified late Saturday evening as the suspect after being removed from the home on a stretcher with injuries, according to multiple area news reports. The dead women were identified by the Dane County Medical Examiner's office as Ashlee C. Steele, 39, and Kacey M. Tollesbol, 38.

Many viral videos have been created in recent months to draw attention to the disease in what is called the Ice Bucket Challenge. The State Journal reported that Ashlee Steele had led a campaign to raise money for her husband's care needs, called Tough as Steele/Taking Down ALS, hosted by the giveforward.com website. On Saturday night, that campaign showed up on search engines but was not accessible on the website. The State Journal said as of Friday, the campaign had reached nearly one-third of its $75,000 goal.
 
Police were called to the home at 12:15 p.m. and gave an all-clear at 3:22 p.m., Channel 3000 reported Friday.

For more on this story, see the September issue of the Fitchburg Star.

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