Family of Little Chute woman encourages domestic violence victims to speak up

Investigators believe Elizabeth Wagner was killed by her husband and labeled the case a murder
Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT
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LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - Elizabeth Wagner was described by her family as empathetic and selfless. She worked at a daycare center and was loved by the kids who attended.

But it crushed many who knew her when Fox Valley Metro Police found the 24 year old dead last September alongside her husband Matthew Wagner, 25, inside their Little Chute apartment.

“I mean I keep waiting for her text to come, or her phone call, or for her to walk through the door, and it doesn’t happen,” her mother Susan Andropolis said tearfully.

For weeks, the family was in the dark on what happened until detectives uncovered a possible connection to domestic violence.

“It was a very long process. It happened in September, we really didn’t get resolution until early December because they were toying between the fact...was it intentional? Was it homicide? Was it an accident?” Andropolis said.

Action 2 News obtained a copy of the police investigative file that labeled her death as murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.

According to doctors, authorities located three fired shell casings inside the home with her husband holding a handgun.

Andropolis said they’d been married for a little over a year. Investigators sifted through dozens of text messages between them capturing arguments related to money and his drinking habits, and signs of emotional and physical abuse towards each other.

Furthermore, investigators discovered she’d been searching on Google for marriage counseling.

In one text message. Elizabeth Wagner called out her husband for threatening to shoot her during an argument where things turned physical and in another message asked him to not say “you wanna die.”

“Why didn’t she tell me? Why didn’t she tell any of us? She had a lot of friends, a lot of family that would’ve given support,” Andropolis said.

According to End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, there were 52 domestic violence homicide victims in 2019. Eighty-three percent of the perpetrators were men and the majority of victims were killed by a gun.

Golden House in Green Bay and Harbor House in Appleton are a few resources dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse.

Although it may be too late for Elizabeth Wagner, her family said it’s never too late to seek help.

“You don’t have to suffer, get help. You know, there’s resources. There’s family, there’s friends, there’s outside resources. You don’t have to end up like she did,” Andropolis said.

If you or anyone you know are in a time of crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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