Sheriff’s Office won’t let I-43 shooting case rest

Authorities make another appeal for information about death of man found shot along freeway 6 months ago

Authorities continue to search for leads in the Oct. 30 shooting death of Cedarburg resident Joshua Terry along I-43 in the Town of Port Washington.
Ozaukee Press staff

Nearly six months after the fatal 6:40 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, shooting of Cedarburg resident Joshua Terry along I-43 in the Town of Port Washington, the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday once again issued an appeal to the public for assistance in solving a case that’s growing increasingly cold by the day. 

To date, the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office has been unable to identify those involved in the incident or determine the exact circumstances surrounding the shooting of Terry, 41, a U.S. Air Force veteran, husband and longtime Cedarburg resident. 

“We’ve been in very close contact with the victim’s family, trying to rejuvenate the case with another press release,” said Lt. DeMaine Milbach of the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau.

Milbach said the Sheriff’s Office has worked closely with the FBI and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation on crafting the verbiage of the Sheriff’s Department’s April 19 press release. 

“It’s really a community effort trying to get information saturation to generate a lead in the right direction,” Milbach said. “We’re looking for that unknowing witness, or for a witness that now believes they have received or heard or come upon something that’s relevant. We’re hoping the verbiage may jog someone’s memory about that timeframe. We encourage them to come forward. And, of course, we would encourage the person responsible to come forward and tell us their side of the story. Who knows? Maybe your story will be the one that breaks the case.” 

Milbach, a fellow Air Force veteran, said the Terry case is near and dear to his heart.

“I have that connection with Mr. Terry and his family, and I would really like to see some closure before I retire,” he said. “For me, it’s close to my heart. It’s always gonna be an open case for me as long as I’m here. I told Renee, Josh’s wife, let’s not use that term ‘cold case.’ It’s always gonna be an open case as far as I’m concerned. We’re gonna keep fighting every day trying to reinvigorate the case, find a lead, do everything we can to get that closure. I’ll keep pursuing the person responsible until I retire, and I’ll have the person who takes over for me continue the pursuit for justice.”

Described as a “gentle giant” by those who knew him, Terry was fond of playing basketball with friends, working out at the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA in Saukville and going for drives to relax while listening to music, which is what he was doingon the night he was shot.

The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office investigation to date has determined that Terry may have been involved in a minor motor vehicle accident while traveling northbound on I-43 in his 2013 white four-door Kia Optima. 

It’s believed that Terry and the driver of the other motor vehicle involved immediately pulled over to the shoulder. 

Given Terry’s stature at 6 feet 7 inches tall with a large build and the lack of artificial light along I-43 near Northwoods Road, authorities believe the other driver maybe felt intimidated or even frightened during the encounter and shot Terry and quickly drove away. 

According to the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department press release, it is believed that the other driver is someone who regularly carries a firearm in their vehicle and may be a concealed carry permit-holder. Authorities believe that this person may be struggling with what has happened and may be exhibiting changes in behavior that might include paranoia, depression and anxiety that may be causing significant changes in how they interact with others. 

Officials say the person may also be experiencing marked instability in their daily life, with signs similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. 

In the days, weeks and months in the wake of the incident, authorities theorize that the person may have exhibited a sharp increase in drug/alcohol use, as well as possibly changed their physical appearance, sold or stopped using their vehicle, missed work, withdrawn from normal activities, or even left the area without providing any logical explanation.

“Given the stress that this person is likely facing, we are concerned that the individual has the potential to cause harm to themselves or others,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the April 19 press release.

If members of the community know of somebody who fits the above description or have any other information relevant to the investigation, they are encouraged to call the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office at (262) 284-7172. Information can also be provided anonymously via text message by texting keyword OZSO and the message to 847411.

The Terry family has established a $10,000 reward fund to encourage those with information to come forward.

For more information about the case or personal information on Terry’s life, visit 

“A web page has been established in an effort to keep the memory of Joshua Terry alive, as well as to keep the community informed,” Capt. Marshall Hermann, of the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department Operations Division said.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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