Wausau police are reaching out to the public in an attempt to recover 45 stolen guns. Ten have already been located.
The guns, which were stolen from Condition One in Wausau on Sept. 30th and Statton's General Store, just north of Tomahawk, on Oct. 2nd have been linked to the deaths of Christian Peterson of Wausau and Lee Xiong of Weston.
Peterson was shot by police in Eau Claire after leading them on a high speed chase and attempting to carjack people. Xiong, 20, was found shot to death in her Weston apartment October 13th. Richi Vue, 21, has been arrested and charged in her death.
Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel says when criminals steal guns, they're using them to commit more crimes. As evident in recent incidents, it could be a matter of life or death.
"Could end up in criminals hands, in hands of people who use drugs, the combination of course of drugs and guns do not mix so we're jut looking for the community to be aware of the situation," Chief Hardel said.
Hardel says over the past few weeks, investigators have interviewed several suspects, witnesses and associates to try and find the guns.
There's a number of players in this scene who we still need to make contact with and hold accountable," Hardel said.
He says drug use and meth play a role in this scene.
Anyone with information is urged to call law enforcement, you can remain anonymous.
Detective Jeff Strobach: 715-261-7815
Lieutenant Mark Gartman: 715-536-6272
Det. Sergeant Dan Goff: 715-359-4202