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BRAINERD, Minn. — More snow fell in the Brainerd lakes area than expected—putting shovels, snowblowers and snowplows back to work—after yet another snowstorm swept across Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin this weekend.
"You girls deserve better," "I am sorry to do this to you," "I love you." These final handwritten words—by a father, a husband—are words the family will never forget and are heartbreaking to read. The afternoon of Jan. 10 of this year is one of pain and sorrow, leaving so many questions left unanswered for the family of Tom J. Johnson of Baxter. Why did he take his own life? Why did he feel like his family deserved better? What happened that day? What was he thinking? How long did he feel this way?
"You girls deserve better," "I am sorry to do this to you," "I love you." These final handwritten words—by a father, a husband—are words the family will never forget and are heartbreaking to read.
WALKER, Minn.—A 27-year-old Coon Rapids man on Friday, March 2, admitted to killing 5-year-old Alayna Jeanne Ertl of Watkins in the summer of 2016. Zachary Todd Anderson was scheduled to appear Friday in a Cass County District Courtroom in Walker for a pre-trial hearing in front of Judge Jana M. Austad. Instead he entered a plea of guilt to first-degree murder involving first-degree criminal sexual conduct with sexual penetration.
MOTLEY, Minn.—It was a horrific scene no farmer ever wants to see—a barn filled with animals being destroyed by a fire. Early Friday morning, Richard and Sally Swartz watched their barn just east of Motley in northern Minnesota burn to the ground. "It has not been a good day," Richard Swartz said in a telephone interview. Swartz said his son, Richard Jr., checked the dairy and beef cows about 6 a.m. and then left the property, and his wife typically goes out to the dairy barn about 8:30 a.m. to work.
The man who died from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday at Bill's Gun Shop & Range in Baxter, Minn. has been identified. Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted identified the man as 77-year-old Henry Plummer Thomas, of Brainerd, Minn. Exsted said Thomas used a firearm he rented from the business in the shooting.
BRAINERD, Minn.—Brainerd resident Kelsey Henson never thought she would deliver her baby along a Minnesota highway. But that is what happened the morning of Jan. 19 when Henson left her Brainerd home to get to Riverwood Healthcare Center Hospital in Aitkin. She didn't make it to the hospital until after her baby Javeah Mae Henson arrived in a hurry midway between Brainerd and Aitkin near Deerwood. Henson said Javeah—who weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long—joins her older sisters Kiandra, 7, Jakiyah, 3, and Kamierah, 2.
BRAINERD, Minn.—A Cambridge, Minn., man helped his sister prepare food for 30 minutes in a northern Minnesota senior living facility where she was a cook before allegedly stabbing her with a knife multiple times in the neck, leaving her for dead. He also planned to kill others, said charges filed Tuesday, Jan. 16. David Michael Otey, 37, made his first appearance Tuesday on those charges in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd, where he was charged with felony second-degree intentional murder without premeditation.
CROSBY, Minn.—Although few new details surrounding the weekend murder of a 38-year-old woman in Crosby in northern Minnesota were available Monday, Jan. 15, criminal charges against the suspect are expected Tuesday, Jan. 16, and should shed more light on the incident. The suspect—David Michael Otey, 37, of Cambridge, Minn.—is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail on probable cause for second-degree murder. Otey, the younger brother of the victim, is expected to be arraigned on formal criminal charges Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd, Minn.
BRAINERD, Minn. — Could there be another mysterious "black hole" on a lake in the Brainerd area? Doubtful, but lakeshore residents on Lower Mission Lake in Merrifield, about nine miles north of Brainerd, pondered a mystery of their own this past week as the lake had a large area of open water on its northern end — an area that normally is frozen over during the winter months.