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Justice for Thomasina Dunivant - Cold Case Investigation Nets Convicted Murderer


LANCASTER - The Wisconsin Department of Justice Cold Case Unit in cooperation with the Grant County Sheriffs Department and the Grant County District Attorneys Office worked together to bring to justice a murderer who took the life of Thomasina Dunivant on December 7, 1980.


"This was a concerted and cooperative effort by my office and our law enforcement partners in this case Grant County Sheriff Keith Govier and Grant County District Attorney Lisa Riniker - to get answers for Ms. Dunivant's family. The result is a dangerous criminal who was eligible for parole is held accountable for this crime as well," said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen


Gregory L. Otterbeck, currently serving a sentence of life imprisonment plus ten years for party to a crime in the sexual assault and strangulation death of Jodi Bausman on April 13, 1981 was sentenced today in Grant County Court by the Honorable Robert P. Vandehey after pleading no contest to Second Degree Murder in the death of Ms. Dunivant.  Otterbeck was sentenced to 20 concurrent years in prison. 


Cold Case Investigators and Grant County Sheriff's detectives worked side-by-side to identify other evidence and follow leads that proved Otterbeck was responsible for the death of Ms. Dunivant.


Assistant Attorney General David Wambach served as special prosecutor in this case.


Additional federal grant resources were sought and received by Attorney General Van Hollen to aid in solving cold cases. This case benefited from these resources. See information on the grant here.


This case was featured as a part of Madison's NBC affiliate WMTV Channel 15 and their Dana Brueck's reporting on the Department of Justice's Cold Case Unit and the efforts of local law enforcement to solve these crimes. A link to the original story is available here.


A copy of the criminal complaint is available:

2009 file: