By Shereen Siewert

A Marshfield woman arrested in connection with the December shooting death of 20-year-old Christian Schauer is pointing the blame at the son of the primary suspect in the case.

Audrey Benson, 20, appeared Wednesday in Marathon County Circuit Court, where she was expected to face charges of being party to the crime of first-degree intentional homicide. Instead, she threw a twist into the investigation, which is now continuing.

Schauer’s body was found Dec. 29 by a fur trapper at the south end of Abe Lincoln Avenue in Spencer, just south of Swamp Road. Schauer was 20 at the time of his death. Earlier this month, a father and son were arrested in connection with the fatal shooting..

On February 5, acting on a citizen tip, investigators located Schauer’s vehicle on a property near Stratford in the Town of Eau Pleine. 19-year-old Jared R. Carl lives at the property and was arrested that day for possession of stolen property related to the homicide along with drug and weapons charges. On February 9, Jared’s father, 50-year-old Shawn R. Carl, was arrested on charges of First Degree Intentional Homicide for the death of Christian Schauer and for possession of a fully automatic rifle.

Prosecutors say Jared Carl told police his father shot Schauer five or six times in an argument over drugs. Shawn Carl is facing homicide charges and is being held on a $1 million cash bond. But Benson is telling a different story that shifts the blame to Jared Carl, who is so far facing only possession of stolen property charges, along with related drug and weapons charges. He remains jailed on a $250,000 cash bond.

Benson said she, Jared Carl and Schauer were went to the McMillian marsh together to smoke marijuana. Benson said she left the vehicle to go to the bathroom and heard what she thought were shots from a BB gun. When she returned to the vehicle, she allegedly saw Jared Carl, gun in hand, removing Schauer’s body.

Prosecutors and police are continuing to work together to investigate the killing and have held off on filing official charges. Benson was ordered held on a $500,000 cash bond.

All three suspects are now due in court on March 8.