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'I could say they were consistent with bone': Department of Justice special agent testifies during Halderson trial

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Fireplace photo

Evidence photo of the fireplace in the Halderson home as shown in court on January 11. 

Neighbor Describes "Odor" The Night of Halderson Deaths

MADISON (WKOW) — More investigators, experts and neighbors testified during the sixth day of Chandler Halderson's trial. 

Halderson is charged in the death of both of his parents, Bart and Krista, after he originally reported them as missing in July. Prosecutors claim Halderson dismembered and distributed their body parts and concocted a story of the Halderson couple traveling to a family cabin in Langlade County before disappearing. 

One neighbor, who is also a former Dane County detective, testified he smelled what he thought was a barbecue on the same day prosecutors allege Halderson burned his parents remains. 

Prosecutors allege the source of the smell to Halderson burning the remains of his parents was in a fireplace within their home. 

"All of a sudden that odor of burning wood became a distinct odor that was more in the line of uh what I thought someone was like, barbequing a large pork....It was uh present.. kind of became real strong, like a pungent smell," Steven Greiber said.  

Another state witness from the Department of Justice, special agent William Boswell, is a member of the Arson Bureau and specializes in fire death investigation. He said some of the burns in the fireplace at the Halderson's home were not consistent with a typical wood burn. 

Investigators also found what appeared to be bone in and under the fireplace. 

"I could say they were consistent with bone," Boswell said when asked if the white material found in the fireplace was consistent with his observations of human bone subjected to heat or fire. "I would not be able to make a determination while that if it was human bone or non human bone." 

Boswell said another expert, a forensic anthropologist, to determine definitively if the material is bone. In this case, the expert called to the scene was Dr. Cristina Figueroa Soto, who is a forensic anthropologist with the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office. Soto has not been called to testify so far. 

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