Daniel Tate and Jamari Cook are in custody in connection with the strangulation murder of Kenosha, Wisconsin teen Olivia Mackay.
Authorities identified Tate, 19, as the “prime suspect” in the murder of Mackay, and they revealed for the first time on August 4 that the teen was strangled on a beach.
Cook, 17, and Tate are both from the City of Kenosha, which was 17-year-old Olivia’s hometown.
The suspects are under arrest but have not been criminally charged. Police will be referring the case to the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office for a determination of potential charges.
Of the two suspects, Tate seems the best known in the Kenosha area. “Danny was a real well known guy. He moved a lot so he went to a lot of schools so a lot of people know him. He was overall a really friendly guy,” one area man told Heavy under the condition his name not be used. He and others expressed shock by the arrests.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Olivia Mackay, an Incoming High School Senior, Didn’t Show Up For Work at McDonalds & Tate Was Wanted on a Warrant
Olivia was about to enter her senior year at Indian Trail Academy High School, according to her obituary. She was last seen at 11 p.m. July 23 and was reported missing the next day when she didn’t show up to her job at a Kenosha McDonald’s. Olivia’s mother told The Kenosha News that she “saw Olivia briefly when she came home from work to change clothes before going out. She said she was going to spend the night at a friend’s house.”
Her Father wrote on Facebook that she was last seen on video at a local gas station.
Olivia held two jobs at both McDonalds and Taco Bell, her obituary says.
“Her co-workers held her in high regard, describing her as hard-working and something of a perfectionist. Due to her interest in their respective programs for studies abroad, Olivia was hoping to attend either Carthage College or Loyola University in Chicago after graduation. Olivia is survived by her parents; her step father, Michael Robert Morowski; and her brothers, Vincent Calob Mackay, Patrick Kelly Mackay, Spencer Quinn Morowski, and Thomas Michael Morowski.”
According to Wisconsin Circuit Court Access records, one of the suspects, Tate, had an open warrant for bail jumping at the time of his arrest. That stemmed from a previous battery charge that led to a deferred prosecution agreement, but, when he didn’t show up for court, the bail jumping charge was issued, court records showed. The warrant was initially issued on June 23.
Tate appeared in court on August 4 in those cases, and bail was set at $10,000 in each. According to The Kenosha News, the earlier charge was for allegedly “throwing his mother to the ground and punching his grandfather in the face.”
2. Olivia Was Strangled to Death on a Beach & Those Who Knew Cook & Tate Expressed Shock
At first, Olivia was missing and a search ignited to find her. However, tragically, her body was then discovered in a rural area of Racine County, which, like Kenosha, is a community located in southeasten Wisconsin. According to WISN-12, a complaint against Cook alleges that Mackay was “strangled, held under water and placed into two drawstring trash bags before her body was dumped near a wooded area.” The complaint alleges that Cook, Olivia and Tate met up after online communication and accuses Cook of saying he saw Tate hug Olivia and then “Tate choking the girl and lifting her off the ground. He said he then saw Tate hold Mackay underwater for several minutes,” Channel 12 reported.
On July 24, police in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin found Olivia’s body “along the road in a forested area,” reports Mount Pleasant Patch. The body was the positively identified as that of Olivia Mackay.
According to the Kenosha News, the body was found in a “woody, brushy area.” Police say the death is a homicide.
Authorities don’t believe that Olivia was murdered in Racine, though. In arguing that Tate was a flight risk in relation to his earlier charges, they revealed some details of the slaying.
According to The Kenosha News, prosecutors allege that “Cook told police he was there when Tate strangled Mackay on a Kenosha beach” and allegedly “told police he helped Tate place Mackay’s body in her car, which Tate then proceeded ‘to drive around as if it was his own.'”
For his part, prosecutors alleged Tate changed his story during questioning, saying he’d “hadn’t been in contact with Mackay” and then saying he had but alleging another man strangled her; however, police said in court that that man had a “solid alibi,” the newspaper reported.
People in Kenosha who knew the suspects expressed shock on Facebook and indicated that Tate in particular had lived in Kenosha for years. Wrote one woman, “Guys… idk who Jamari is.. but Danny was a friend when we were kids. Came to my birthday parties in elementary school. I’m incredibly shook tbh.” A man responded, “Same!!! He went to my elementary and he was close with my brother at one point. I was so rattled when I saw this.”
Hope Hummel told Heavy in an interview, “I only knew Danny in elementary school, when we were very young, but back then he was a very sweet child, and a good student too. I remember him coming to my birthday parties each year when we were young. While I lost touch with him after elementary school, I’m still really shocked to hear he may be connected to this tragedy.”
One woman expressed great anger, writing, “Danny Tate and Jamari, you guys are the biggest pieces of sh*t to ever walk the streets of Kenosha. #justiceforOlivia #GodWillJudgeYou.”
3. Tate Went to the Same School as the Victim & Olivia Was Remembered as an Anime Fan Who Wanted to Travel the World
Tate wrote on Facebook that he had attended Indian Trail Academy. He also said that he was in a relationship, lived in Kenosha, and went to Mary D. Bradford High School. He was known as “Danny.”
Olivia’s obituary describes the teen as adventurous and possessing an avid curiosity.
“As child, Olivia enjoyed spending time at home with her brothers and her cousins, even though she announced at age 10 that she was planning to move out and travel the world,” the memorial tribute to her reads.
Olivia’s father posted a picture of her unfinished artwork to Facebook, calling her modest and talented.
“As an elementary school student, her expressed love of cherry pie earned her Bristol Elementarys ‘Pie In The Sky’ award. In middle school, she worked her way into several school plays and enjoyed attending theater productions in Chicago. She was always a shy person with no particular desire to fit in.”
Despite being shy, Olivia had a strong sense of self.
“She was unafraid to be the person she wanted to be, and those who were close to her knew her to be a very funny person who loved to plan small gatherings and activities for her friends. She loved to dance, and enjoyed playing the ocarina,” the site continued.
“As Olivia grew into a young adult, her curiosity, strong work ethic and independent spirit often landed her on the honor roll and led her to develop many interests. She was a particularly inventive and talented visual artist who was comfortable working in a wide variety of mediums. She was very interested in video production and would write detailed scripts for videos that she would post online to YouTube.”
Olivia was a fan of Asian cultures. “She loved to read manga and was an enthusiastic fan of anime and K-Pop. Olivia taught herself to speak and write basic Chinese while sharpening her skills in advanced Chinese language classes at her high school. In 2016, Olivia visited China and was planning a return trip as soon as she was able to afford it. Olivia could also speak Spanish quite well,” the site said.
4. Vigils Have Been Held in Olivia’s Memory
The tight-knit Wisconsin community has rallied in support of Olivia’s family. Vigils held in Olivia’s memory drew large crowds in early August, just days before the arrests were announced. Her father wrote on Facebook, “Today I’m completely numb. I can’t believe the outpouring of love that everyone is surrounding us with. I’m in a dark place. It would be so much worse without your love.”
A lantern was sent into the sky in Olivia’s memory.
Kenosha is a community of just under 100,000 people located on the shores of Lake Michigan.
5. A Fundraising Page to Help Olivia’s Family Has Raised More Than $23,000
Friends established a YouCaring site to assist Olivia’s family. Excess money raised will be used to establish a scholarship fund in Olivia’s name.
The site reads, “Our friend Kelly Mackay and his family suffered an enormous loss on July 24, 2017. His daughter, Olivia Mackay, was a shy, talented and insightful teenager who was preparing to begin her senior year at Indian Trail Academy High School this fall. This account has been created to help the Mackay family absorb the expense of Olivia’s funeral service due to her sudden passing. These are extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated, and any donations exceeding the cost of the funeral will go into a scholarship fund in Olivia’s honor.”
Kelly Mackay posted a video of Olivia on Facebook and wrote, in part, “You sweet, beautiful, kind, generous loving souls. Each and everyone of you. Love beyond and further beyond any words of thanks could express. You are the voice of truth and justice. Please keep praying for us.”
This post will be updated as more is learned about the suspects, Jamari Cook and Daniel Tate.