Wisconsin authorities investigating a triple-homicide last week in Hamilton have taken two men into custody, and believe a dispute over $600 preceded the fatal violence.
Nya Kou Thao, 33, and Khamthaneth Rattanasack, 41, are accused in the execution-style shootings of Trevor Maloney, 23, and Nemo Yang and Peng Lor, both 24.
The two men were apprehended at separate locations, and at this time, no formal charges have been filed against them.
They are due in court later today.
All three victims were found on July 23, at the entrance to a quarry in Hamilton.
According to La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf, who addressed the media Thursday, the arrests were the result of the “excellent work of numerous investigators” from multiple jurisdictions. © La Crosse County Jail Khamthanet Rattanasack and Nya Thao
“Investigators worked tirelessly to bring resolution and arrests in the case,” Wolf said. “The agencies cannot be commended enough for the great work they have done and the work yet to take place.”
A witness approached detectives the day after the killings.
A criminal complaint, obtained by the La Crosse Tribune, alleges the witness told police she pulled into the Holiday Inn in Onalaska and briefly went inside. When she returned, Thao entered her vehicle, sitting in the back seat on the driver’s side. Yang sat in the front passenger seat, she said.
She was told to follow Rattanasack, who was driving a Mercedes. Upon arriving at the quarry, the witness said Rattanasack ordered the three victims to get on their knees and crawl toward the gate. She said Rattanasack then handed a gun to Thao, who shot all three men multiple times.
She said Rattanasack and Thao left in their vehicles after allowing her to return to her car and leave.
Investigators do not know why the witness’ life was spared.
Police also received what they described as a reliable tip from another witness, who said Rattanasack accused Yang of stealing $600 from him — by using his credit card.
It was unclear Friday if either defendant had a lawyer.