Wis. Woman Sent Chilling Facebook Messages Before Vanishing — Now Ex-Boyfriend Is Charged with Murder
The ex-boyfriend of Emily Rogers, the Wisconsin woman who vanished last month, has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with her death.
PEOPLE confirms that Nicholas Matzen, 35, has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide and hiding a corpse. He is Rogers' former boyfriend and the father of her child.
Rogers was last seen on April 26. After a concerned friend contacted police, she was reported missing on May 1. Her body was found under a discarded Christmas tree by a retention pond on May 3, police said in a news release. She had been strangled.
Police arrested Matzen, who they allege had a volatile relationship with Rogers.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by CBS-58, Rogers had told a friend that she planned to break up with Matzen when he was jailed in an unrelated hit-and-run case. PEOPLE confirms that he was released from jail on April 27.
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The complaint alleges that detectives obtained Facebook messages from Rogers' account. At 9:43 p.m. on April 27 — the day Matzen was released — Rogers told a friend, "He showed up here" and "I literally had to force him to leave." The friend responded, "U Ok?" and Rogers replied, "Not exactly," later saying, "I'll call you in a minute" and "if I can."
Detectives also say they spoke with a neighbor who reported seeing Matzen with scratches on his face after Rogers disappeared. When the neighbor asked what happened, Matzen allegedly said the scratches came from his dog — which was suspicious because neither Rogers nor Matzen had a dog.
Additionally, the complaint alleges that Matzen told a friend that he had harmed Rogers. The friend allegedly told police that Matzen said, "I f---ed up; I hurt her." Matzen allegedly told this friend that when he learned Rogers was breaking up with him, that he "lost it" and strangled her.
Matzen is being held on $500,000 cash bond. He has not yet entered a plea, and court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf.