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Police mum on death, disappearance of Harvard woman whose body was discovered in Roscoe storage unit

Michelle Arnold-Boesiger, 33, was a ‘family-oriented’ person with a ‘big heart,’ husband says

One week after police discovered the body of a missing Harvard woman in a Roscoe U-Haul storage unit, police have been unforthcoming about the circumstances surrounding 33-year-old Michelle Arnold-Boesiger’s disappearance.

Arnold-Boesiger’s husband, Brendon Boesiger, described the mother of two as a “family-oriented” person with a “big heart.” Summed up in a few short words, Arnold-Boesiger was someone who loved her sons and “wanted to help others, even when she couldn’t,” Boesiger said.

Officials have remained mum about several details surrounding Arnold-Boesiger’s disappearance, including when anyone last saw her and whether her death is considered suspicious.

No charges had been filed in connection with Arnold-Boesiger’s death or disappearance as of Tuesday afternoon. The Winnebago County Coroner’s Office’s autopsy report could take as many as eight weeks to finalize, Coroner Bill Hintz has said. An official cause of death could be announced at that time.

Boesiger and Arnold-Boesiger no longer lived together when the woman’s family reported her missing on Jan. 3. After months of living separately, Boesiger filed for divorce in November, noting in his petition that he was unsure of his wife’s address.

He usually heard from Arnold-Boesiger every two weeks, he said. But when weeks went by with no contact, he reached Arnold-Boesiger’s family, who then reported her missing to the Holiday Hills Police Department, he said.

Court documents filed over the past several years show that Arnold-Boesiger moved multiple times and was the victim in at least two domestic battery cases involving two different men, including Boesiger. The other man, 33-year-old Jonathan Van Duyn, has been in custody at McHenry County Jail since Dec. 21 on charges alleging he choked, bit and struck Arnold-Boesiger during a July 2019 dispute, according to public court documents.

Boesiger denies abusing his wife in connection with a 2018 domestic battery arrest. A criminal complaint filed at the time alleged Boesiger pushed his wife into a refrigerator and knocked the wind out of her. On Friday, however, Boesiger said he made only “minor contact” with Arnold-Boesiger that day while walking past her on his way out of the house.

In 2019, Boesiger pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to one year of court supervision and 30 hours of public service, public records show.

He has since said the situation was “incidental” and “completely unintended.”

Boesiger, who has not been charged in connection with Arnold-Boesiger’s disappearance, denies any involvement in her death and has been cooperative with the investigating police agencies, he said.

A Facebook account belonging to a group called the Missing Person Cases Network posted on Feb. 22 about Arnold-Boesiger’s disappearance. Page administrators could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

According to the February Facebook post, family and friends last saw or heard from Arnold-Boesiger on Dec. 15. Her cellphone activity also stopped about that time and with a shunt from her head to her stomach, she was believed to be in immediate need of medical attention, according to the post. It was not immediately clear where the Missing Person Cases Network received its information.

➡️UPDATE: On Tuesday March 2nd authorities removed Michelle’s body from inside a storage unit in Rockford , IL. This...

Posted by Missing Persons Cases Network on Monday, February 22, 2021

Police departments sometimes release information about missing person reports when seeking the public’s help locating the person in question. Details in those public disclosures often include when the person was last seen, their height and weight, whether they have any medical or mental health concerns and a contact number for the investigating agency.

It does not appear that the Holiday Hills Police Department or the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office released any of those details at the time of Arnold-Boesiger’s disappearance. The department has additionally declined the Northwest Herald’s official request to provide that information since the woman’s body was discovered.

More than a year before anyone allegedly last heard from Arnold-Boesiger, the woman filed an order of protection against Van Duyn following a domestic dispute, court records show.

Van Duyn is accused in that case of choking, striking and biting Arnold-Boesiger on July 17, 2019, and damaging a lockbox where she kept her lupus medication, court records show.

During an argument that day, Van Duyn demanded that Arnold-Boesiger give him the Oxycodone that she was prescribed as pain medication for her lupus diagnosis, according to the order of protection.

She refused and told Van Duyn she wanted to end the relationship. Van Duyn then “punched open” the lockbox where the medication was stored, took the pills and grabbed Arnold-Boesiger by her neck, according to the order of protection.

Van Duyn is not charged in connection with Arnold-Boesiger’s disappearance or death.

On Dec. 13, he was arrested and accused of kidnapping his 10-year-old daughter in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Authorities transported him on Dec. 21 to McHenry County Jail, where he remained Tuesday evening.

The public defender assigned to represent him on the 2019 domestic battery charges declined to comment Monday.

Officers with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation and Roscoe Police Department discovered Arnold-Boesiger’s body on March 2 in a storage unit in Roscoe. That’s according to a news release police issued two days after officers used a warrant to search the unit.

Since then, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Holiday Hills Police Department have declined to speak about the investigation or details included in Arnold-Boesiger’s Jan. 3 missing persons report.

“This is still an active investigation,” McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Creighton said in an email Monday. “There’s no further information at this time.”

Holiday Hills Police Chief Darec Kleczka indicated in an email Tuesday that he would not approve the Northwest Herald’s public records request seeking a copy of the original missing person report. According to Kleczka, his department would need to contact the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office “for approval” to fulfill the records request.

“There is information in our original report that could compromise the sheriff’s department investigation,” Kleczka wrote. “The sheriff’s department has our original report so you can send a Foia request to them. I will not compromise their investigation.”

The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, Roscoe Police Department and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment.

The Northwest Herald had pending public requests with the sheriff’s office and several other agencies in connection with Arnold-Boesiger’s death as of Tuesday.