Janesville man named suspect in homicide

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MADISON—A Janesville man is now considered the prime suspect in the Feb. 23 killing of a Mazomanie woman, and police are looking for a revolver known as a Pink Lady.

Phillip A. Byrd, 39, of Janesville, has been held in the Rock County Jail since Feb. 24 on unrelated charges. Dane County investigators earlier had said he was a
"person of interest” in the case.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday named Byrd as the suspect in the shooting death of Cheryl Gilberg, 43, of Mazomanie.

Investigators are looking for a partially pink revolver, a Charter Arms Pink Lady Undercover Lite .38 caliber, according to a news release.

The gun is one of a number of “items” missing from Gilberg's home, the news release states.

Snowmobilers are being asked to be on the lookout for the gun and “any potential evidence” as trails re-open between Mazomanie and Middleton.

Detectives also want to talk to anyone who saw a black SUV parked along Highway 14 between Mazomanie and Middleton on Sunday, Feb. 23, or who saw someone throw something from such a vehicle.

Anyone who finds the revolver or other associated item is asked not to pick it up.

Detectives have conducted “hundreds” of interviews but still want to speak to “unidentified individuals,” according to the news release.

The sheriff's office is asking anyone who had contact with Gilberg or Byrd on the weekend of February 21-23, to call a tip line, 608-284-6900.

Byrd is a 1992 graduate of Janesville Parker High School. He wrestled in high school and later at UW-Whitewater.

Byrd had been held on Rock County warrants for charges filed in 2011 for failing to pay child support and for third-offense drunken driving, police said.

He also was arrested on new drug-possession charges.

Byrd was arrested in a residence at the Woodland Heights mobile home park in Janesville. A search of a bedroom at the residence turned up bottles of medication prescribed to Byrd and a prescription bottle of amphetamine prescribed to Cheryl Gilberg, according to a criminal complaint.

Also found in the room were several bottles of testosterone, syringes and 50 tablets of anadroxyl/oxymetholone, which is a synthetic anabolic steroid and a federally controlled substance.

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