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Friends say arrest in Nicholas Day’s homicide brings relief after month-long investigation

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As the Dane County Sheriff's Office announced an arrest in the Nicholas Day homicide case, those who knew him well say they're grateful to see the investigation move forward.

On Jan. 15, police found 26-year-old Nicholas Day's body on County Highway JG near Bergum Road in the town of Blue Mounds.

The Dane County Medical examiner ruled the Blue Mounds man died of "homicidal violence."

On Friday afternoon the sheriff's office announced Riley Berg, 21, from Mount Horeb, was taken into custody Thursday and faces a tentative charge of first degree intentional homicide.

For Brendan Pille, Day's longtime friend, it's news he's waited on for a month.

"Honestly, since I found out, it was a sense of relief knowing that his family and us friends, finally have some answers," he said.

Pille served alongside Day in the Navy for four years and in that time he said the two developed a lifelong friendship.

"Just his ability to make anything fun when you hang out with him from changing the oil to actually going out in town and having a good time," he said. "It was always fun with him."

Day was the best man at Pille's wedding and the two kept in touch after he left the Navy.

"He was just one of the most outgoing guys you'd ever meet," he said.

Pille remembers Day as a dedicated father and an easygoing, kindhearted friend.

While he said this knowledge won't bring him back, it's a start for Day's family and friends as they move towards closure.

"This puts me at ease and I'm sure that it puts Ciara his wife at ease and his family," Pille said.

Now he said they're waiting for justice and a motive, knowing full well they'll always be asking why they lost a friend, a son and a father so soon.

"I miss him and I love him and I'll see him on the other side," he said.

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Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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