Dr. Beth Potter, a University of Wisconsin physician, and her husband, Robin Carre, an independent education consultant, are the victims of a double homicide that occurred near the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, where they were found lying in a ditch, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department.
An 18 year old suspect, Khari Sanford, has now been arrested and accused of the murders. The chief said Sanford knew the victims, but did not explain the motive. You can learn more about Sanford here. The chief also labeled the murders calculated and cold-blooded. Facebook posts indicate that Sanford, who had attended Madison West High School, had recently been in a romantic relationship with the Potter’s and Carre’s teenage daughter.
On April 4, in a second news release, police revealed they had arrested a second person as well, writing, “Late last night, Friday, April 3, at approximately 11:20 p.m., the UW-Madison Police Department arrested a second suspect in the murders of Robin Carre and Beth Potter. Ali’jah J. Larrue, 18, was taken into custody Friday evening and booked into the Dane County Jail. Larrue is charged with two counts of Party to a Crime for First Degree Intentional Homicide….While this remains a very active police investigation, UWPD investigators believe the two primary suspects in this murder investigation are in custody.” Larrue’s Facebook page says he went to Madison West High School (as did Sanford and the three Potter/Carre children.)
A criminal complaint has now been filed alleging that Potter and Carre had kicked Sanford, their daughter’s boyfriend, out of their house and into an Airbnb because they were allegedly concerned the pair was refusing to social distance due to COVID-19. The complaint stops short of saying that was the motive, indicating that the daughter had allegedly been overheard telling Sanford her parents were rich. It says both victims were murdered by being shot in the head and were wearing pajamas and just underwear when found. You can read the details of the complaint here.
The Madison police spokesman told Heavy.com on April 2, 2020: “Based on our investigation so far, we have made the determination that this was a double homicide.”
A Facebook fundraiser for the Carre/Potter children has raised thousands of dollars. You can find it here.
Potter was remembered in tributes as a conscientious, caring physician with a warm personality. “Words cannot express our grief,” said William Schwab, MD, professor and interim chair, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, in a statement. “In addition to being a wonderful family physician and highly respected teacher, Beth was a dedicated leader at the Wingra clinic and in our health system. She was wise, warm, and always supportive. There are so many in our department whose lives have been touched by Beth; her loss will weigh heavily within us.”
He added: “Our sadness is immense. We will care for patients and attend to all of the other meaningful work of our department today and in the coming days because we must, and we will do so, as we have been, under the most extraordinary circumstances — and we will keep Beth’s legacy in our hearts as we step forward. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there is added pain in not being able to gather together directly to comfort each other, but we will take time to reflect and console in a way that sustains.”
Carre was remembered in one tribute as a “pillar in the Madison soccer community.”
In a news release sent to Heavy.com, police confirmed the identities of the two victims, writing, “Today, our partners from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the two victims of the March 31 homicide in the UW Arboretum. Robin Carre, age 57, and Beth Potter, age 52 – both of Madison – were found in a ditch by a passerby who was jogging at approximately 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Robin Carre was pronounced dead at the scene. Beth Potter was transported to a local hospital where she later died.”
Police added: “Since our initial response, UWPD officers and investigators have worked around the clock to canvas the neighborhood, follow-up on leads, and talk to individuals who may have information about the homicides.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Do Not Believe the Homicides Were Random
Authorities have not released a motive in what they labeled a “double homicide.” However, they did say that they don’t think it was random. Rather, they believe Potter and Carre were “targeted.”
“At this point, UWPD investigators believe the incident was targeted and not a random act. We continue to follow leads and we encourage anyone with information to please step forward. Those with information can call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or submit a tip online,” police wrote. The police spokesman told Heavy.com, “The couple was found in a ditch approximately 1/4 mile from the Wingra Street entrance to the UW Arboretum.”
The Dane County Medical Examiner’s office told Heavy.com that the deaths occurred at 6:28 a.m. Carre was pronounced dead at the scene, and Potter was taken to a local hospital, where she died “a short time after arrival.” Autopsies were completed on April 1, and the preliminary results showed both “died from homicidal related trauma.”
In a previous news release, the police wrote: “The UW-Madison Police Department is currently on the scene of a homicide investigation at the UW Arboretum. At approximately 6:30 a.m., a passerby who was jogging in the Arboretum came across two individuals — and man and a woman — lying in a ditch. One was pronounced dead at the scene – the other was transported to a hospital and died a short time later.”
Online records show the couple lived less than 2 miles from the Arboretum.
The website of the Arboretum states that its trails are open from 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Its visiting center opens 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. on weekdays. The page also states, “Runners and cyclists can use 4 miles of paved road through woodlands, wetlands, and prairie. Walkers and runners on paved roads should travel single file, facing traffic, on the road edge. Running is also permitted on the unpaved fire lanes and footpaths within the Arboretum. Biking on unpaved areas is prohibited.”
The mode of attack was not revealed. The medical examiner’s office reported they died of “homicidal related trauma.”
2. Potter Was a Physician With the University of Wisconsin-Madison for Years & Her Husband Was an Independent Education Consultant
Potter’s university bio pages have been deleted. However, her LinkedIn page says she was medical director of Employee Health & Wellness for UW Health since April 2016.
She was also a physician with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Access Wingra Family Medical Center since September 1999.
She finished her family medicine residency program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999, and she also attended Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center. She had a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from Knox College.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health said in its tribute to Potter: “We honor the passion and commitment she brought to the health of her patients and her fellow health care professionals. We also grieve the loss of her husband, Robin Carre, whose life was claimed by the same tragedy…Potter approached the practice of family medicine with tremendous compassion, earning the respect of patients and colleagues alike. Her multilingualism in French and Spanish brought clarity and comfort to the diverse patient population she served.”
The statement continued, “She dedicated her career to the health of families, women, and underserved communities, as well as the education of medical students and residents. In addition, she championed initiatives aimed at fostering the wellness of her health care colleagues.”
It explained, “As the Medical Director of Employee Health Services for UW Health since 2016, Potter led a team focused on occupational health to address the work-related health needs of UW Health employees. She also was a highly respected medical educator who taught and mentored hundreds of medical students and family medicine residents, many of whom went on to join the departmental faculty. Her work focused on teaching evidence-based medicine, wellness, women’s health, and investigating ways in which emerging technologies can be used to advance medical education. Potter is remembered by students and residents as a kind mentor who worked to instill the missions of education, research, patient care, and service to society.”
According to his LinkedIn page, Robin Carre was an “Independent Educational Consultant” for Carre College Coaching in Madison, Wisconsin, for more than five years.
“I help high school students and their families navigate the college admissions process. I help them identify good-fit schools, create balanced application lists and provide support and assistance throughout the application process,” he wrote.
On his website, he explained, “Robin Carre has decades of experience as an educator and coach. He was an Adjunct Professor of History at Viterbo University and was Coaching Director at Regent Soccer Club. He holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an Independent Educational Consulting Certificate from UC-Irvine. He is a member of the Independent Educational Consultant’s Association, the Wisconsin Association for College Admission Counseling and the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling.”
He wrote that his services included:
College Search Consulting and list Development
Development of Application Strategy and Timeline
Essay Help, including brainstorming and editing
Assistance in Applying for Financial Aid and Scholarships
The Facebook page for the business says it was launched in 2015.
3. Potter Was Remembered as a ‘Beautiful Soul’ & Her Facebook Posts Show a Love of the Outdoors
Friends posted tributes on Facebook. “In my time at Wingra Family Medical Center I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Beth Potter,” wrote one. “I am absolutely devastated to hear this tragic news. Beth was always one to go above and beyond for her patients and coworkers. I always admired her want to help others and the amount she would give back to the community (especially the Latino community). I am at an absolute loss of words; why? That’s all I will always ask my self is why someone would do this to such a beautiful soul. ?”
An associate wrote, “She was a doctor at the clinic I work at. She was a warm and wonderful woman. Our whole clinic is in shock and grief. It’s unbelievable ??”
Richard Kilmer wrote in a Facebook tribute, “I spent the afternoon deeply grieving the loss of my physician and friend , Dr Beth Potter. She and her husband were brutally murdered yesterday. I got a call from a mutual friend this morning and I have been in shock ever since. Beth became my physician and friend 20 years ago when I met her as a patient. I was going through one of the hardest times in my life. She was so kind and so compassionate and helped me so much. Beth was the kindest most caring person that I have ever met. I still can not wrap my mind around this tragedy. Between tears, I just keep asking, why, why, why? Beth was brilliant, funny, kind, and full of love. My heart goes out to her children, family, patients, co-workers and friends today. She and her husband were so loved, and will be so missed. . Words can not express my sorrow.”
Dr. Robert Golden, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, told staff in an email, according to Madison.com, “I am deeply saddened to share with you the tragic news about the untimely death of Beth Potter MD, a professor in our Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Medical Director of Employee Health Services at UW Health.” The email called her “a wonderful colleague, leader, and friend,” calling her death “exceptionally painful and difficult to bear.”
Tributes were also offered for Carre. “Mason’s good friend and roommates parents. Although I didn’t know them too well Robin was a pillar in the Madison soccer community especially at Regent Soccer Club. This is shocking beyond words. My condolences go out to…the entire Carre-Potter family. Gone too soon,” wrote one man.
4. Potter & Carre Both Graduated From Knox College & Had Three Children Together
Madison.com reported that Potter and her husband had three children.
Both Carre and Potter appear as alumni from Knox College, which listed them in an annual report as “Robin Carre ’85 & Beth E. Potter ’89.” He was listed as Potter’s guest at a Knox College event in 2019.
Carre wrote on LinkedIn that he received a bachelor of arts degree in International Relations from Knox College and a doctorate of Philosophy Ph.D. in European history. He had a certificate as an independent educational consultant at UC Irvine, according to his LinkedIn page.
The Arboretum where they were found is described on its website as featuring “distinct ecological communities, horticultural collections, effigy mounds, more than 17 miles of trails, and a Visitor Center. It is a place of active learning, reflection, creativity, land care, research, and recreation—where human, animal, and plant communities coexist.”
5. Carre Was Well Known for His Work in the Madison Soccer Community
Regent Soccer Club wrote on Facebook, “We are deeply saddened to say we have lost a very special member of the Regent family. Robin Carre was a friend, mentor, coach, and face of our club for a long time. Our hearts go out to Mimi, Ezra, Jonah, and the entire Carre-Potter family during this horrific time as they mourn the loss of Robin and his wife, Beth Potter.”
On that comment thread, a man who knew them wrote: “I was on the Regent Board with Robin for years and he was my son’s spring soccer coach for his high school team. When I resigned Robin took over as President and led the club. With him at the helm the Club made great strides and the Club is all the better for his leadership. And last year he led my son’s team to victory at the Reddan Thunder soccer tournament. A great leader, coach and mentor. You will be missed Robin.”
Another man wrote, “This is incomprehensible and extremely sad. Robin and Beth were wonderful and generous in many ways. To everyone at Regent SC right now, to whom this family gave so much — my thoughts and deepest sympathies are with you.”
Another indicated, “He was passionate about his family, the kids and the game. Always enjoyed talking about soccer and life with Robin. Quietly made the community, club and people’s lives better. I’ll miss him.”
Potter’s top visible posts on Facebook show fundraisers for charities like protecting the Amazon. She signed a petition that indicated that Americans should “open our hearts and our ports to refugees.” Most of her visible photos show her enjoying the outdoors.
On LinkedIn, Carre said he was director of operations for Regent Soccer Club for more than three years until 2013; he also said he was an adjunct professor at Viterbo University for 12 years through May 2010.
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