Suspect held in death of woman found in Kenosha park fire

Man accused of sexually assaulting, killing woman

A Kenosha man is charged with sexually assaulting and killing a woman whose body was found in a grass fire at a local park last month.

A criminal complaint filed Thursday charges 21-year-old Joshua Braithwaite with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping, all as a repeat offender.

Firefighters putting out a brush fire at Nedweski Park on July 9 discovered the body of 20-year-old Lashe Zalar. A forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy said the fire caused Zalar’s death, although the complaint said the victim had an open wound to the neck and a knife handle was found near her body.

The complaint said police used a DNA database to zero in on Braithwaite and also have eyewitness accounts which link him to the crime scene.