Just after her son was killed in April, Serena Thompson was devastated, but she felt confident justice was on its way.
A suspect was arrested inside 24 several hours and investigators had two witnesses to perform with. She thought the suspect “wasn’t heading anyplace.”
But after a week went by, she commenced hearing — very first through the grapevine and afterwards by way of regulation enforcement — that the suspect had been launched from jail. No costs had been filed.
Like other households in identical cases, Thompson had issue obtaining responses. She did not know if costs would most likely arrive shortly, later on or ever.
Instantly, justice for Vydale Thompson-Moody, 28, felt like it was fading.
But Thompson refused to let that transpire.
When she was advised witnesses to her son’s death weren’t cooperating, she begun building cell phone phone calls and sending immediate messages to them more than social media, versus the guidance of some family members customers. She was identified to chat to them.
“Vydale would have desired me to be persistent,” Thompson reported. “I will by no means give up on him.”
Thompson-Moody, who lived with a cognitive incapacity, was strangled April 15 within a dwelling in the 2800 block of West Wells Street, in the Concordia neighborhood on Milwaukee’s west aspect. A few folks who all knew Thompson-Moody had been in the residence when it transpired.
Court docket data listing the suspect as Adam Hetke, 32, and say Hetke identifies as a girl and prefers to be termed “Morrigan.” Information say Hetke has a record of sexual assault courting to 2007 and experienced frightened at the very least 1 witness.
When Hetke was unveiled from jail, she bragged to the witnesses about killing Thompson-Moody and mentioned God could not bring him back again, but she could, “because I’m the satan,” court information reported.
Thompson’s endeavours at some point shook unfastened important proof that led to Hetke currently being billed, but not until just after she allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-calendar year-aged woman with cognitive disabilities in Waukesha.
“Being that they enable this particular person go and dedicate an additional crime, it damage,” Thompson said. “It could’ve been prevented.”
“You could not notify him that his disability would end him”
Thompson realized she would have to struggle challenging for her son the working day he was born.
Thompson-Moody was born with a series of well being fears, like a lacking chromosome that caused his cognitive incapacity and a range of other circumstances that necessary a tracheotomy. Health professionals said he was not most likely to live past age 3.
But he lived well over and above that and labored tricky towards lofty ambitions.
Thompson-Moody was a dedicated substantial faculty university student but didn’t graduate. His mother mentioned he was intrigued in working in child treatment or the cafe business, so he stored at his research and earned a GED as a result of Milwaukee Location Technical College this previous January.
Unbeknownst to his mom, Thompson-Moody experienced been approved to the College of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She discovered an acceptance letter just after his demise.
“I was so very pleased,” she stated. “He didn’t like taking no for an solution. You could not inform him that his disability would halt him. He just needed to be acknowledged as any other human getting.”
Family users explained Thompson-Moody as a social butterfly. He was lively in Distinctive Olympics and traveled across the metropolis by bus so substantially that many drivers realized him. He typically acted as a peacemaker, having right after his grandfather, Thomas Lloyd, a pastor.
That manufactured him good corporation, but often it also fearful his relatives.
Thompson-Moody was not usually equipped to differentiate in between buddies and foes. His father, Marshall Moody, was killed in a taking pictures on Milwaukee’s north facet in 2018. The money he remaining for his son produced him a goal for many others, Thompson reported.
“He by no means fulfilled a person he could not be a good friend to,” explained Lloyd, his grandfather. “He was just friendly. He didn’t think men and women could hurt him. I’m sure folks took edge of him since of how he was.”
A homicide suspect walks free
When police arrived at the residence on West Wells Road on April 15, they found Thompson-Moody on the ground with a 15-foot electrical wire beneath him and marks on his neck and forehead, according to the legal criticism.
Hetke lived at the household with both equally witnesses. 1 of them told police Hetke called Thompson-Moody the day ahead of and requested him to occur about. Immediately after arriving, Hetke ordered Thompson-Moody close to and bullied him, the complaint explained.
Originally, one particular witness explained to law enforcement Thompson-Moody turned upset and attempted hurting himself by wrapping a twine close to his neck. The three many others intervened, though it seemed like Hetke tried tightening the cord as she began building statements about taking away demons from Thompson-Moody’s human body, the complaint mentioned.
It is not very clear specifically what transpired upcoming, but the very same witness explained anyone eventually went to sleep, and in the morning, he observed Thompson-Moody unresponsive.
It’s unclear from the felony grievance what data the 2nd witness furnished law enforcement at the time.
Hetke informed police she experienced been striving to stop Thompson-Moody from hurting himself.
But Hetke was arrested on a tentative cost of initially-degree intentional murder. Thompson thought it was only a issue of time right up until rates arrived in the loss of life of her son.
But just after a week in the county jail, Hetke was discharged on administrative launch, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office environment. That designation ordinarily signifies prosecutors aren’t yet prepared to file rates for several causes.
“That actually bugged the heck out of me,” Thompson stated.
It was then that Thompson went to operate on social media, monitoring down her son’s mates and hoping to get someone to talk. Hetke experienced been cost-free for about a thirty day period when a person assisted Thompson get in touch with the second witness, a girl, who is discovered only by a first name and final preliminary in the criminal complaint.
The two linked one night over the phone at 2 a.m. in late May perhaps. Thompson recorded the dialogue.
The girl explained Hetke advised her beforehand that she desired to get rid of Thompson-Moody for remaining disrespectful, in accordance to the felony complaint. She explained Hetke wrapped the twine about his neck and the two witnesses taken off it as Thompson-Moody tried releasing himself from the wire.
The course of action recurring alone many times right until everybody in the property went to slumber. The witness said she assumed Thompson-Moody went property soon after she fell asleep, but the following working day, she awoke to locate him unresponsive, the complaint mentioned.
Thompson passed the recording to police, who then re-interviewed everyone. Each witnesses corroborated the facts. They, together with a third person, also advised officers that right after becoming released from jail, Hetke returned to their residence and admitted to killing Thompson-Moody deliberately.
But it nevertheless took two months for prosecutors to file murder costs. In the meantime, Hetke observed herself in trouble yet again.
On July 6, Hetke achieved a 16-year-outdated female with cognitive disabilities outdoors a Waukesha gas station. The two went to the girl’s household to look at Television set, where by Hetke threatened her with a knife and sexually assaulted her, in accordance to a criminal criticism.
Hetke was billed 3 days later with to start with-diploma sexual assault with a dangerous weapon and next-diploma sexual assault of a mentally disabled man or woman. She has pleaded not responsible and has been in the Waukesha County Jail ever considering that.
Hetke was not billed in Thompson-Moody’s homicide right until almost two weeks just after she was jailed in Waukesha County.
Requested why it took two months for prices to be issued, Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Legal professional Kent Lovern mentioned it was “important for us to acquire added details relevant to the investigation before issuing prison costs.”
Hetke has a preliminary hearing scheduled in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Monday.
A relatives attempts to heal
Thompson is thrilled Hetke will remedy for her son’s death in court docket, expressing “I will be dancing, I will be celebrating” when proceedings start.
But her son’s dying has upended her daily life in many ways. She explained she has frequently been emotional in front of her youngest son, a 16-yr-previous. She experienced a bad encounter arranging her son’s funeral and it led to a falling out with her individual father, Lloyd.
Lloyd himself has experienced a complicated time right after losing his grandson, whom he helped raise. Thompson-Moody’s residence on Milwaukee’s northwest side is on his way to a office retail store he usually visited. Now he avoids the region. It truly is “too hurtful” to generate by it, he reported.
Lloyd mentioned he is not certain when he will communicate to his daughter once more. But he is thankful for the initiative she took.
“She hustled and bought that evidence,” he mentioned. “I’m very pleased of her to have finished that.”