Two suspects are now in custody in La Crosse over the triple homicide that occurred in Hamilton last Friday. Khamthaneth Rattanasack and Nya Thao were arrested Wednesday night and Thursday morning in different locations around northern Wisconsin, according to a press conference from La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf.
The three victims, Nemo Yang, Peng Lor, and Trevor Maloney, were discovered at 4:57 am on July 23rd at the entrance of the Milestone Quarry by two employees arriving for work.
Investigators say the murders occurred over $600 worth of stolen credit cards that Rattanasack believed Yang or Lor were in possession of.
Both Thao and Rattanasack appeared in court earlier today and were charged with three counts of 1st degree homicide and felony possession of a firearm.
Information leading to the arrest of Rattanasack and Thao was provided by a female eyewitness who was with the victims during the time of the murders, leading to a major break in the case according to La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf.
The witness was staying with all three of the victims at a hotel near Onalaska when they stopped at a different hotel to drop off some items. The four were then approached by Rattanasack and Thao in the parking lot. Rattanasack was carrying a firearm and told the men to enter his Mercedes while Thao entered the witnesses car. Thao told the witness to follow them where they were led to the Milestone Quarry outside of Hamilton. Rattanasack instructed the victims to kneel and gave the firearm to Thao where she shot the three victims multiple times. Both Rattanasack and Thao fled the scene, leaving the witness who fled shortly after.
The eyewitness has not been named yet and her relationship with the victims and suspects is unclear at this time. The witness is being kept in a secure location according to Sheriff Wolf.
The incident could be gang related as both the victims and suspects were potential members of two rival gangs common in the area.
“Investigators believe that some of the victims and suspects were potentially members of the True Asian Bloods and the Crazy Hmong Boys” according to Sheriff Jeff Wolf.