Lee “was beaten by a group near a tree and then ran towards a pond, where the assault continued.”
A search warrant reveals that investigators think a group of 11 teenagers may have been involved in the brutal sexual assault and beating that caused the death of a Hmong woman near a Washington Park tree and lagoon
Since Ee Lee’s body was found in a Washington Park lagoon last September, what happened to her has been shrouded in secrecy. We’d heard that Milwaukee Police Department cops who initially responded to the scene were horrified by what they saw. We requested the CADD dispatch log from MPD in September, but months later, the open records request remains pending. We asked the Sheriff’s Department about the details that month too, as they are the investigating agency, but they said only, “The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating an incident that occurred at Washington Park. No details of the incident or investigation are being released at this time.”
Now the newly released warrant finally gives some details of the horrific attack on Lee.
According to Fox 6, investigators now claim that Lee “was beaten by a group near a tree and then ran towards a pond, where the assault continued.” The television station reported that the search warrant indicates investigators suspect that the group of “young males” may have “attacked and assaulted” Lee near the tree. Although she ran toward a pond to get away from them, she was “dragged and later found beaten, unclothed and unconscious,” reported Fox 6. There was evidence of sexual assault, and cameras captured 11 people leaving the park after the attack.
Lee led a very troubled life. In 2007, she was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, child abuse, and recklessly endangering safety in the death of her 6-week-old daughter. Lee told police “she slammed the baby’s head against a table and stuffed a blanket in her mouth. She also admitted having tortured the infant for weeks, by pinching her, biting her and hitting her with the metal end of a flyswatter,” the story says. A DOB match confirms this is the same Ee Lee who died in Washington Park. A 2010 notation in court records says, “Court finds the def is presently not competent to proceed in this case and she is not likely to become competent within the statutory commitment period. Ct ordered def shall be released from custody; the DA’s office shall inform the court of the def’s legal and mental status every 12 mos.”
Authorities previously released this photo of Lee in a supermarket before the attack in the park.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said there was a non-disclosure on the report but confirmed to Wisconsin Right Now that the death was ruled a homicide.
The medical examiner’s face sheet was released. It says that Lee was 36-years-old and homeless. She died at the hospital.
Lee was discovered around 9:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Washington Park Lagoon. The Hmong community previously held a vigil in Lee’s name. Her sister Nancy Lee told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Lee was quiet and a music lover and she was going through an “unstable time,” but the sister was trying to help her through it.
The Sheriff’s Department previously called the death a “fatal incident.”
A Sheriff’s Department press release issued at the time of the death said:
On Wednesday, September 16, shortly after 9:30 p.m., Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputies and Milwaukee Fire Department personnel responded to the Washington Park Lagoon for a report of an unconscious female subject. Upon their arrival, first responders located 36-year-old Ee Lee of Milwaukee. Ms. Lee was transported to an area medical facility, where she died on Saturday, September 19.
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating Ms. Lee’s death and actively pursuing multiple investigative leads. Members of the public with information regarding events in Washington Park between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16 are asked to call (414) 278-4788.
Additionally, members of the public who may have observed or encountered Ms. Lee in the vicinity of Washington Park between 5:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. are asked to call (414) 278-4788. Shortly before 6:00 p.m., Ms. Lee was observed at 4900 W. North Ave. wearing a light blue-and-gray hooded sweatshirt and carrying a green coat and yellow bag. At 6:18 p.m., Ms. Lee was observed walking in Washington Park near the Washington Park Lagoon.