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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Thomas Fassbender, a Special Agent with the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation's Special Assignments Bureau, was recently recognized for his work in the Teresa Halbach Homicide Investigation/Steven Avery case.


The Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigator's presented the Meritorious Service Award to Thomas Fassbender, Mark Wiegert of the Calumet County Sheriff's Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol at their annual conference. The award is given to a group of members or a team of investigators from a department or from assisting departments who demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism in their respective positions during an investigation or during a multijurisdictional investigation. Fassbender and Wiegert were co-lead investigators on the case. The Wisconsin State Patrol's Technical Reconstruction Unit was recognized for their work involving the forensics mapping of the scene.


"This case exemplifies cooperation between law enforcement agencies," said Van Hollen. "It shows what can be done when multiple law enforcement agencies come together on the state and local level, open up lines of communication and focus on a single goal. It is our mission to assist law enforcement, and to do so with the highest level of professionalism and competence. Tom personifies this mission, and he is very deserving of this recognition."


Fassbender has been a certified law enforcement officer in Wisconsin for 23 years. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, he began his law enforcement career with the Wisconsin State Patrol. In 1985 he joined the Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation. Since 2002 Fassbender has been assigned to the Special Assignments Bureau, where he is responsible for investigating homicides, cold homicide cases, sexual assaults and conspiracy to commit murder. In addition to those duties, Tom has been active in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.


"This case was about Teresa Halbach, not Steven Avery," said Fassbender. "The goal was to see that justice was brought to Teresa and her family."