Jessie Blodgett was a 19-year-old actress and musician studying at the University of Wisconsin. She was spending the summer of 2013 at home with her parents in Hartford, Wisconsin. On July 15, Blodgett’s mother discovered her daughter dead in her bedroom. There was no murder weapon, no sign of a struggle. But there was a red mark across her neck. Blodgett had been strangled.
Blodgett’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Daniel Bartelt, was arrested. The two dated in high school but broke up before going to separate colleges. During the early part of the summer, they reunited but Bartelt reportedly wanted to be more than friends. At trial, it was revealed that Bartelt used climbing rope to strangle Blodgett. His DNA was also found under Blodgett’s fingernails and in her genital area. Bartelt tried to clean the crime scene but the disinfectant wipes he used and bloody paper towels were found in a nearby park, stuffed in a cereal box. Bartelt was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. Dateline NBC will air its investigative report on Friday, August 26 at 10pm.