Detrie released from jail

Nicole VanderHeyden and Douglass Detrie are seen in this photo provided June 3, 2016, by the Brown Co. Sheriff's Office.

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Douglass Detrie was released from jail Friday after prosecutors said they are not confident they have enough evidence to tie him to the beating death of his live-in girlfriend, Nicole VanderHeyden.

Detrie walked out of the Brown County Jail without saying anything to reporters.

"We're not comfortable that we have sufficient evidence that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Because of that I'm not comfortable issuing criminal charges," said Brown County District Attorney David Lasee.

The release came one week after sheriff's officials put out a fresh call for witnesses to come forward.


A Brown County Court Commissioner agreed with Lasee to vacate a probable cause decision made against Detrie 16 days ago. It included a $1 million cash bond.

"We are appreciative of District Attorney Lasee's thoughtful consideration of what to do in today's case," said Emily Lonergan, Detrie's attorney. "We understand it's not an easy decision fo rhim to make, but we think he made the right decision."

Brown County Sheriff's Office released the following statement on the investigation:

We are working closely with the District Attorney's Office as we investigate this case. This is a complex investigation. Evidence recovered from multiple locations is being examined by the Wisconsin State Crime Labs. The Wisconsin State Crime Lab has prioritized this case and we are working closely with them to obtain useful information from the evidence.
We do not have lab results for most of the items we have collected in this investigation. The analysis of this quantity of evidence will take more time. We expect to be able to focus our investigation in the weeks ahead as we receive results from the crime lab.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office has and will continue to devote considerable resources toward this investigation. We are investigating all leads with the purpose of holding the perpetrator accountable and seeking justice for Nicole, her family and her friends.

RELATED | Investigators looking for more info in VanderHeyden homicide case

Detrie was arrested May 23rd, two days after VanderHeyden's body was found in a farm field, three miles from the couple's Ledgview home.

Prosecutors have said the evidence they have is what appeared to be blood outside the home and in VanderHeyden's vehicle. An apparent shoe print was also found on her body, which investigators believe matches a pair of Air Jordan shoes found in Detrie's home.

RELATED | Detrie back in court, no charges filed

"I want to hold someone accountable for the death of Nicole VanderHeyden, absolutely, but I want to be sure we are holding the right person whether that is Mr. Detrie or someone else," said Lasee.

"Mr. Detrie is appreciative and thankful that the investigation is continuing and wants it to continue and really wants to find the correct person who did this," said Lonergan.

Detrie's attorney says he will be staying in Green Bay, in hopes of finding justice in the case.

The Brown County Sheriff's Department and the district attorney's office are still waiting on evidence results from the state crime lab. They say it is taking extra time to process, because the lab is also busy with work on other cases, including this week's double homicide in Hobart.

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