Wisconsin Teen Actress Found Dead With Strangulation Marks After Cast Party

Jessie Blodgett was starring in a community production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

July 26, 2013— -- The father of a teenage actress who was found dead in her bed with signs of strangulation marks on her neck said she was more than just a daughter and "at the top of my list of best friends."

The death of Jessie Blodgett, 19, has baffled police since they found the young performer dead in her parent's home July 15 in Hartford, Wis. Police are investigating Blodgett's death as a homicide, but have few clues about what happened after she came home from a cast party.

Blodgett's mother, according to a police affidavit, said her daughter arrived home around 1 a.m. and went to bed alone. At 8 a.m., her mother says, she brought clothes to her daughter's room before leaving for work. Then, four hours later, she discovered Blodgett's lifeless body.

"Every father loves their daughter but she was at the top of my list of best friends along with my wife," Blodgett's father, Charles, said. "She knew me better than anybody knows me."

Investigators say they recognized signs of strangulation "on the victim's neck" but found no ligature or cord near the bed, and that "after a thorough search," detectives were "unable to determine" what kind of weapon might have used.

"We have begun to develop some feelings about what we think might have happened and that's made things easier, but we all have to be patient and wait for it to come out," Blodgett said.

There is still no official cause of death and authorities say they're waiting for toxicology results, which could take four to six weeks.

Jessie Blodgett, a college student who dreamed of one day becoming a teacher, was starring in a community production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

"We just miss her so much and we're sad to lose her," show director Jerry Becker said. "No one ever expects a 19-year-old just to suddenly be gone."

Police have acquired a search warrant to comb through Blodgett's phone records and Facebook account, where she described her excitement about her performance in the play and posted a picture alongside her cast mates days before her death.

"One of the other things I feel that Jessie wants me to say is that love is stronger than hate," Charles Blodgett said. "It always will be. And bad stuff happens, but love will win out."

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