Homicide suspect's family tried to get help for their son

CREATED May 6, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - The family of a Waukesha man accused in a triple homicide is asking why their cries for help went unanswered.

Jaren's Kuester parents visited him for the first time in jail on Monday. His mother tells TODAY'S TMJ4 it was a horrible experience and they're still worried about his mental state.

We are hearing for the first time from the people who could have helped the Kuesters.

"This is a tragedy," said Peter Schuler, director of Waukesha County's Health and Human.

But Schuler isn't second guessing his staff's handling of Jaren Kuester's battle with mental illness and his parents repeated efforts to get help.

Jaren and his father met with a county crisis manager Apr. 25, three days before the triple murders in Lafayette County. But when Jaren walked out of the 30-minute meeting, Schuler says there wasn't anyting else that could have been done.

"We were turned away", said Kuester's mother Kathleen. "We knew he needed to be back in the hospital."

Several weeks prior Jaren started telling his parents "demons were with him." .

"I don't think anyone saw the kind of thinking, behavior or response on the part of the individual we have to make the judgment about that would have allowed them by law to take any other action," said Schuler.

Schuler claims the Kuesters did not specifically ask to have their son committed, but the family disagrees. The county says by law it could have committed Jaren Kuester in this situation only if he had agree to it.