Suspect in custody, charged with hit-and-run death of 27-year-old Athens man
TINA L. SCOTT
On Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) announced they had arrested 28-year-old Paul J. Schmeiser of Curtiss, Wis., and charged him with Hit and Run, duty upon striking a person, in relation to the death of Titus Kottke. A press release from the TCSO confirmed Schmeiser was taken into custody Wednesday and scheduled to be in court that same day for a bond hearing. He is being cooperative with law enforcement the release said.
Titus Kottke, age 27, of Athens was killed in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office had received a report of a person laying in a pool of blood near the intersection of Elm Ave. and Hamm Dr. in the Township of Holway in Taylor County. The call came in at 6:08 a.m., and the man was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of multiple injuries, despite medical first responders’ efforts to perform CPR on the victim. An investigation led to the identification of the deceased victim as Kottke, and an autopsy determined Kottke’s injuries “were consistent with being struck by a motor vehicle,” according to the release, and confirmed the TCSO’s initial suspected cause of death.
“As the investigation continued, Detectives were able to accurately account for Kottke’s whereabouts throughout the evening leading up to his death,” the press release stated. He was last scene alive, walking along the road about a mile from where his body was found, at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 31.
“As part of an exhaustive investigation, a suspect was developed, and several search warrants were executed,” the release said.
That investigation resulted in the arrest of Schmeiser.