Investigation continues into apparent Tahoe murder-suicide
Nevada Appeal News Service
TAHOE CITY – Funeral services have been set in Wisconsin for a Tahoe City woman found beaten and strangled in her apartment Saturday.
Police and family members say 41-year-old Julie Lacke’s death stemmed from domestic violence.
“We want people to know it was domestic abuse,” stated the father, Jerry Lacke. “I don’t know when the beating started.”
Lacke, the victim of an apparent murder suicide, was discovered Saturday morning by sheriff’s investigators in a bedroom at her residence.
Her body was found after police responding to a call of a burning vehicle about a mile away went to the address taken from the vehicle’s registration.
Investigators found human remains inside the burning Ford Explorer and believe they are those of Lacke’s boyfriend. They allege he committed suicide by pouring gasoline over himself and setting it on fire. The boyfriend’s identity has not yet been confirmed, as a DNA analysis takes several weeks to complete.
The cause of Lacke’s death was blunt force trauma and manual strangulation, according to a Placer County Sheriff press release.
“It appears that this is an example of domestic violence in its extreme form,” said sheriff’s Lt. John Addoms.
Lacke was known by her nicknames of Jules and Yippy-Skippy – a name she earned while cocktail waitressing at the River Ranch Lodge in Tahoe City. According to her family, she was an outgoing and a cheerful person.
“She had a big personality – a hard working, energetic girl,” said John L. Weedn, Lacke’s former supervisor.
Lacke moved out to Tahoe in 1987, after meeting her former boyfriend of 10 years, New Yorker Jonathan Hartnett, in Colorado. According to Hartnett, Lacke loved the (Green Bay) Packers, was a cross-country runner in high school, had earned a psychology degree from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and loved to take her dog for walks.
According to Lacke’s family, her boyfriend, who rented the downstairs portion of the residence with Lacke, was in and out of work and Lacke had not worked in a couple of years.
The funeral service for Lacke will be in Madison, Wis., at the St. Thomas Aquinas church, at 11 a.m. March 25. Donations can be made to the local Humane Society of Truckee, reached at (530) 587-5948.