UPDATE: Murder charge to be filed in Mazomanie homicide investig - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Murder charge to be filed in Mazomanie homicide investigation

Posted: Updated:
Cheryl Gilberg Cheryl Gilberg
Phillip Byrd Phillip Byrd

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Dane County Sheriff's Office has announced Phillip Byrd is expected to be charged Thursday with first degree intentional homicide in connection with a murder in Mazomanie in February. 

Sheriff Dave Mahoney says Byrd, of Janesville, is set to appear in Dane County Court Wednesday afternoon. He's been in custody in Rock County since February 24, the day after Cheryl Gilberg was found shot to death in her home.

Mahoney says the 39-year-old Byrd has been the prime suspect since the beginning.

Byrd is Gilberg's former boyfriend and authorities are considering her murder an act of domestic violence.

"I know the struggles that families deal with when addressing domestic violence, what we need to do is get the message out," says Mahoney. "These victims can find safety, services and comfort."

For several weeks, investigators searched fields off Highway 14 for evidence in connection with Gilberg's death, specifically a pink gun. Mahoney says he believes that gun was the murder weapon but even though it hasn't been found, he's still confident in bringing the homicide charge now.

If anyone finds the gun or other evidence authorities say you should not touch it and call 911 right away.

Nationally, one in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, three-thousand cases are reported in Dane County alone, every year. Mahoney says he hopes Gilberg's death is a message to domestic abuse victims that help is out there.

You can call Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) 24-hour help line at (608) 251-4445. DAIS provides legal advocacy services, support groups and shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Byrd's charge will come with a domestic violence enhancer, which if convicted, would mean an extra five years in prison, on top of a possible life sentence.

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UPDATE (WKOW) --- Sheriff Dave Mahoney says that Phillip Byrd will be charged with first degree intentional homicide on Thursday in the death of Cheryl Gilberg.

Byrd is a former boyfriend of Gilberg's.

More coming on 27 News at 5 & 6.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Authorities are expected to provide an update Wednesday on a homicide investigation in Mazomanie.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney will meet with the media Wednesday afternoon to release information on the death of Cheryl Gilberg, 43. Gilberg was found shot to death in her Mazomanie home on February 23.

Authorities identified Phillip Byrd, 39, as a suspect in Gilberg's death in March. He's being held in the Rock County Jail on other charges.

Authorities have been searching an area along Highway 14 near Black Earth for weeks, looking for any possible evidence related to the case. Investigators are looking for a pink gun that could be evidence.

Tonight on 27 News at 5 & 6, we'll share the latest on this investigation.

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