Man, woman charged with overdose deaths in Waupaca County

Aaron Van Dyke and April Hardegen are charged with two overdose deaths in Waupaca County in...
Aaron Van Dyke and April Hardegen are charged with two overdose deaths in Waupaca County in April and May(Waupaca County Sheriff's Office)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:58 PM CDT
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NEW LONDON, Wis. (WBAY) - Two people are charged with two overdose deaths in Waupaca County.

Aaron Van Dyke, 31, and April Hardegen, 30, were formally charged Thursday.

Van Dyke is charged with two counts of being party to the crime of conspiracy to commit first-degree reckless homicide; each charge carries up to 40 years in prison. Hardegen is charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety and manufacturing or delivering up to 3 grams of heroin, with a maximum of 12 years in prison each.

According to court records obtained by Action 2 News, one of the victims, Kendra Rateau, was found dead on April 22. New London police were asked to check on Rateau’s welfare after she failed to show up for work for two days and no one recalled seeing her. A bag in her home tested positive for meth, and an autopsy confirmed an overdose.

On May 30, Waupaca County deputies responded to an ambulance call in Lind, after a woman reported her boyfriend, Jordan May, may have overdosed. Investigators say the woman admitted buying heroin at a motel in New London. Officers found a bag with a white powder that tested positive for fentanyl. The bag matched the one from the New London death.

New London and Waupaca County investigators determined Van Dyke and Hardegen “worked together to bring illegal substances into Waupaca County for resale,” according to the complaint. Hardegen admitted to investigators they’d been trafficking drugs “for some time... (making) numerous trips to Milwaukee” for heroin. She said Van Dyke provided the money and Hardegen helped to sell it in exchange for drugs for herself to get high.

Van Dyke and Hardegen both have court dates scheduled later this month. Van Dyke previously pleaded no contest in 2015 to a charge of manufacturing or delivering heroin. Online records show Hardegen has theft, drunk driving and drug charges dating back to 2009. She was out on bond for drug and child neglect charges from 2020 when she was arrested.

Both had their bail set at $100,000 cash.

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