A man police suspect of killing his wife was arrested on domestic abuse charges for allegedly attacking her three months before she was found dead at her home.
Fuad Pashayev, 31, of Wisconsin Dells, is in custody at Columbia County Jail. He is scheduled for a Wednesday court hearing on prior domestic abuse charges.
Wisconsin Dells Police Chief Jody Ward said in a press release his department immediately identified Pashayev as a suspect in the death Thursday of Tetiana Huzhva, 23.
Police arrested Pashayev in connection with Huzhva’s death, but the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office has not filed formal charges in the case. A representative from the prosecutor’s office could not be reached for comment and the district attorney’s office in the Columbia County Courthouse was unexpectedly closed Monday.
Pashayev and Huzhva lived together for three years, married last August and had a 2-year-old daughter together.
The child is currently in foster care, said Ana Ketchum, a family friend and Huzhva’s former boss at Goody Goody Gum Drop Candy in Wisconsin Dells.
In an open case filed in January, Pashayev faces 11 domestic abuse charges including strangulation and suffocation, battery, false imprisonment and criminal damage to property. He was released on a signature bond after an initial court appearance.
According to a Jan. 4 criminal complaint, Huzhva “came running into the Wisconsin Dells Police Communication Center” at 1:13 a.m. Jan 3. She was “crying, gasping for air and shaking.”
Huhzva said earlier that night, Pashayev broke her cell phone and told her if she continued to send text messages to people, he would kill her.
She told police Pashayev had “been abusive to her for some time” and that she became increasingly afraid for her safety as he drank alcohol more often and became more violent when drinking.
After a police officer “was able to calm” Huzhva, she reported a series of violent incidents, the complaint says.
Huzhva told police that in August 2018, Pashayev was drinking alcohol and became angry with Huzhva for some unknown reason, the complaint says. She said Pashayev put his hands on her throat, which made it difficult to breathe. Huzhva said she hit his hand away, grabbed her child and ran out of the house in fear.
Also in August 2018, her Shih Tzu puppy went missing suddenly without any explanation. Pashayev would only tell her that he would pay her for the puppy, the complaint says. Huzhva suspected her husband killed the puppy.
Around 10 p.m. on Dec. 3, Pashayev was drunk and angry, and he punched Huzhva three times in her upper back, the complaint says.
Weeks later, at 8 a.m. on Jan. 1, Pashayev was sleeping and became angry after their baby made noise. Pashayev placed a pan over the child’s head, then threw it at Huzhva, causing a bruise on her right forearm.
Huzhva said the next day, at 1 a.m. on Jan. 2, Pashayev was drunk and inside an upstairs bathroom with Huzhva. He asked how she got home from work, and he held her inside the bathroom for a few minutes, the complaint says. He also splashed hot water onto her face while holding her there.
Then, on the night of Jan. 3, Pashayev threatened to kill Huhzva and threw her cell phone at a wooden floor, cracking the screen, the complaint says. Huzhva immediately ran to the police department, but then became frightened that she had left her child behind at the house.
Formal charges related to Huzhva’s April 4 death have not been filed.
Ellen Allen, director of Hope House in Baraboo, said the nonprofit organization helps victims of domestic violence in Sauk, Columbia, Juneau, Marquette and Adams counties.
Among the resources available to people through Hope House is temporary emergency shelter, Allen said, adding that anyone who fears for their safety can be provided a safe location to flee from danger.
Allen said Hope House served 2,800 people in 2018. Most years, the organization serves on average 2,500 people.
She said generally speaking, domestic abuse and domestic violence situations can involve power, control, fear, isolation, confinement or financial or communication restrictions. These are are “red flags” that help is needed, she said.
Allen said it’s crucial that people continue to reach out on either their own or another person’s behalf, even if they have just the slightest inclination of possible violence.
“Every situation is a little bit different,” she said, noting that victims often are told that no one will help them. “They benefit from reminders to trust their own instincts. They’re not alone. There are people who care and will help.”
According to the Hope House website, a lantern vigil for Huzhva began April 5 and will remain lit through Thursday night.