A Deer Creek woman accused of starting a house fire that killed her developmentally disabled brother last week was charged Monday with first-degree reckless homicide, arson and bail jumping.
Dana L. Nachtrab, 27, was ordered held on a $300,000 cash bond with conditions including that she not possess any devices capable of lighting a fire.
Her brother Cody Nachtrab, 23, was found dead inside the burning home at W10721 Pine Road in Deer Creek. Dana Nachtrab's husband tried to get Cody out of the home but her brother was afraid of the fire and didn't understand the danger, Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said in court Monday. He died of smoke inhalation. The fire was reported at 11:20 p.m. on March 12. Dana Nachtrab, her husband and their 2-year-old child escaped the blaze, Tempelis said. The family lives in the residence, which her mother owned. Her mother was not home. The house was destroyed and Cody killed in the fire that authorities say Dana Nachtrab started in a fit of anger. Tempelis said that in a text conversation she said she wanted to burn the house down and expressed that she was frustrated and upset. Later that day, the family dog died, and she and her husband argued about their relationship, Tempelis said."She gets very angry, goes outside to a fire pit where they had a fire that was apparently going and then comes back in and does what she had texted previous that day when she indicated that she was going to start the house on fire," Tempelis said. Nachtrab lit either a winter sock or glove, which started a "very intense" fire, Tempelis said. According to the criminal complaint :Nachtrab's husband told investigators that he came home when she called him to say that the family dog had died. He was in his bedroom when she came into the room and told him there was a fire in her mother's room. He tried to put out the fire with water and soda but ultimately told her to take their daughter out of the home. He found Cody in his bedroom with a blanket over his head and shouted for him to get out. At one point, he told police, Cody started going toward the door but turned around saying, "Bed, bed, bed." When he tried to grab Cody to pull him out, Cody got angry and swung at him, he said. He said when he looked back he could only see black smoke. That's when he left the residence. Nachtrab allowed investigators to search her phone, which was how they found the text message — sent about eight hours before the fire was reported — that referenced her lighting the house on fire. She told police she had been struggling with a lot of stress. She said she was still dealing with her father's death in a July 2017 crash and was responsible for taking care of Cody, who would go into a rage and at times become abusive. She also described a very troubled relationship with her husband. She said she started the fire to prove a point after an argument with her husband over her talking with an ex-boyfriend — but she didn't intend for it to grow so big so quickly. She said she called 911 when she was outside and at that point thick black smoke was coming from the patio door she had left through. She was booked into the Outagamie County Jail just before 5 p.m. Wednesday. A preliminary hearing was set for March 27. She also made her initial appearance Monday in a separate misdemeanor case for which she was already scheduled to be in court. She's facing charges of battery and disorderly conduct, both as domestic abuse, in the Oct. 10 call to the home in which she's accused of hitting her husband.
Officials have identified the two people who were home during the fatal domestic-abuse shooting Saturday morning, according to a release from the Iowa County Sheriff's Office.
Officers were called to Keane Street in Ridgeway around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Deputies found 46-year-old Robin Reeson dead, apparently shot after a domestic abuse incident escalated, officials said.
Reeson's wife, Melanie M. Reeson, 43, and Austin D. Valdez, 19, were home at the time of the shooting. Valdez is Melanie Reeson's son, according to the release.
The investigation is ongoing and that officers will be conducting multiple interviews with people who say they have information that could be helpful, according to the release.
There are no prior reported domestic incidents involving any of the three, according to the release.