Father of murdered Hartford woman breaks silence
CREATED Aug. 1, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug. 1, 2013
HARTFORD - The father of a young musician brutally killed in Hartford wants her to be remembered as a person who "had a huge heart and was involved in everything."
Buck Blodgett shared Jessie's story with TODAY'S TMJ4 Reporter Charles Benson.
He's not ready to talk about the specifics of the case, but he has a lot to say about Jessie's love for music and passion for life. She was their only child.
"Her mom used to tell her: 'Jessie you can't do everything and she would say but I could try,' and she did everyday."
Music was Jessie's life. She just finished her freshman year at the Peck School of Arts at UW-Milwaukee.
"She's a musician, and even more than that a music teacher," Blodgett recalled. "She started her business this year and had 28 students in two months. She saw music as more than music. It was a way to connect people and change the world."
But the world changed for the Blodgetts on July 15, when Jessie was murdered in their home.
Suspect Dan Bartelt was a family friend and once dated Jessie. Buck's mood changed from forgiveness to anger after seeing Bartelt in court.
"I thought 'what happened? What happened to you?' We just kind of felt sorry for him. That all changed yesterday when we heard the facts of the case," said Jessie's father.
"I wondered when the rage would come and it's kind of starting to come."
But not for Bartelt's parents.
"No, not at all. I don't know how much they knew but I know they didn't see this coming. Nobody saw this coming," said Blodgett.
Jessie's family is thankful for the work done by the Hartford Police Department and Chief David Groves.
"He told me from day one, my job is to defend Jessie and protect her case and my second job is to defend your family and protect your family and he meant it," said Buck. "He has a big heart and they did a phenomenal job."
For now Buck prefers to focus on memories of Jessie and her music. He was reminded of that hours after her death when while outside with a neighbor, a butterfly starting following them.
"We kept noticing each other looking at the butterfly."
Later that night while reflecting, the butterfly moment hit him.
"Instantly into my brain popped one my favorite times in life and proudest moments of her father. It was her first performance ever, she sang the first song she ever wrote and the name of the song is Butterflies."
A fund has been set up in Jessie Blodgett's name. You can make a donation at any US Bank. The money will be used to help buy instruments for Central Middle School kids and help the Friends of Abused Families organization in West Bend.