Leads spark continued search in homicide investigation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Leads spark continued search in homicide investigation

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says he feels his office is far ahead of where it was Thursday night, but declined to comment on efforts to find a murder weapon in a Friday afternoon news conference regarding a homicide in Mazomanie.

A search for evidence continued Friday morning along a stretch of Highway 14, near Black Earth, with deputies combing the area. Mahoney says leads prompted the search in the rural area.

"Any time you receive information, you put all the resources you have into it," Mahoney says. "They're doing a line search, looking for evidence that's been brought to our attention."

But Mahoney refused to state whether the sought-after evidence included a gun.

"We're not elaborating on the weapon at this point, on its recovery, or the type of weapon," Mahoney says.

Sheriff Mahoney says more than two-thirds of his staff is currently dedicated to investigating the death of 43-year-old Cheryl Gilberg, who authorities say was found dead in her home Sunday evening. An autopsy found she died from being shot in the head.

Sheriff Mahoney says his office has received many tips and conducted many interviews, and will continue to track down leads throughout the weekend. Anyone who thinks they may have information about Gilberg's murder should call (608)-284-6900.

Phillip Byrd is the only person authorities have named as a person of interest in the case, and Sheriff Mahoney said Friday Byrd remains a person of interest but faces no charges right now in Dane County. Byrd is currently being held in the Rock County jail on unrelated charges.

An unnamed person, who was the subject of a restraining order taken out by Gilberg on February 18, has been released from Dane County jail. He was jailed earlier this week for a probation violation on unrelated charges.

Mahoney previously stated everyone his office has interviewed about Gilberg's death has been cooperating with the investigation.

Stay tuned to WKOW Channel 27 and www.wkow.com for updates.


MAZOMANIE (WKOW) -- The search continues for any evidence that could help Dane County deputies solve a murder in Mazomanie. More than 20 deputies lined up and walked through farm fields and ditches along Highway 14 between Mazomanie and Cross Plains.

Officials have identified Phillip Byrd as a person of interest, but they're still looking for evidence to either rule him out as a suspect or charge him in the case. Byrd is currently being held at the Rock County jail for unrelated charges.

Officials say 43-year-old Cheryl Gilberg was found dead at her Mazomanie home on Sunday after being shot in the head. Detectives have also interviewed another man whom Gilberg had a restraining order against.

"We've talked to well over a hundred individuals. We've talked to both individuals involved in the alleged domestic related situations and they've cooperated fully with our investigation," Sheriff Dave Mahoney says.

Dane County deputies wrapped up their search along Highway 14 at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. They will continue their search Friday morning once the sun comes up. 

"The investigation team was extremely tired by the second day. They took about a four break and then hit the ground running again," Mahoney explains. "They were back in the office early this morning and they'll go until late tonight as they do everyday until this case is clean."

Deputies say Thursday's search was not in response to any sort of lead they've received during their investigation. They're just trying to be as thorough as possible. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call (608)-284-6900.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County Sheriff's Office tells 27 News they are searching a stretch of area near Highway 14 and Black Earth for evidence related to the Mazomanie homicide.

Lt. Kerry Porter says the search is not based on a tip, but it is part of the Sheriff's Office being thorough in its investigation. He says officers are looking along the highway in case any evidence related to the homicide may have been discarded.

We are headed to the area and will keep you updated here on WKOW.com and on 27 News at 5 & 6.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The person of interest in the Mazomanie homicide is being questioned by investigators.

Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney tells 27 News Phillip Byrd is being talked to this morning.  Cheryl Gilberg was found deceased in her home Sunday night.  Gilberg was shot and killed. 

Mahoney also states they are trying to confirm Byrd's alibi and also mentioned they are talking to another person.  That person is the man Cheryl took a temporary restraining order out against February 18. 

Sheriff Mahoney says he cannot make any comments regarding the firearm used in the homicide.  He hopes to have more information to release later today.
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