Police seek 'person of interest' in Moorhead blaze that killed 2
MOORHEAD Police believe two people found dead at the scene of an apartment fire in Moorhead on Friday were killed, and they have a "person of interest" they're seeking. Authorities wouldn't say why they want to talk to Tracy Allan Zornes, a 38-ye...
Police believe two people found dead at the scene of an apartment fire in Moorhead on Friday were killed, and they have a "person of interest" they're seeking.
Authorities wouldn't say why they want to talk to Tracy Allan Zornes, a 38-year-old from Naytahwaush, Minn., and Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger said he's not yet a suspect in the double homicide. He said Zornes could end up just being a witness.
Police identified the two victims on Monday, using dental records due to the conditions of the bodies: a 20-year-old Moorhead man, John Phillip Cadotte, and a 25-year-old woman, Megan Joy Londo.
Like Zornes, Londo hails from Naytahwaush, but Deputy Police Chief Shannon Monroe said there's no known relationship linking Londo and Zornes beyond being from the same town.
Moorhead Fire Marshal Rich Duysen said the fire appears to have been intentionally set in the first-floor unit where both victims were found.
Ebinger said police wouldn't speculate about whether they suspect the fire was set to cover up the murders, but it's made the investigation complex.
"Our evidence has been burned in many cases," he said.
The causes of death for Londo and Cadotte have been initially determined by the Ramsey County medical examiner in St. Paul, but Ebinger said it is evidence in the investigation and won't be released until charges are filed.
Ebinger said police have to limit the release of many details about the investigation because it's ongoing.
"We're not being coy or secretive," he said.
Moorhead police aren't alone in looking for Zornes. There are three warrants out for his arrest in Minnesota. Two are for probation revocations connected to convictions for intoxicated driving and burglary and a third is for driving without a license.
Zornes has been on the lam for awhile. The oldest warrant, according to court records, was issued Jan. 24, 2008.
"If I knew the last place he was seen, we'd be there," Ebinger said.
Monroe said that Zornes is known to spend time in Fargo-Moorhead, the Twin Cities area, Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Naytahwaush. He has a ponytail that hangs to the bottom of his back, Lt. Tory Jacobson said.
Police urged anyone who sees Zornes to call authorities instead of approaching him.
Londo and Cadotte were not renting the apartment, one of three units in the building at 901 9th Ave. S. The renter on the lease, Cassie Cruz, was out of town but knew that the victims would be staying at her home, authorities said.
Monroe said police think it was the first night Londo and Cadotte had stayed in the apartment. It doesn't appear the pair knew each other well, Ebinger said.
Attempts to reach families of the victims Monday weren't successful. Londo was visiting from Naytahwaush, where her 2-year-old and 8-year-old sons are still living. Cadotte lived in north Moorhead with his mother and younger sister. They're originally from Sisseton, S.D., police said.
Police and fire crews in Moorhead responded to the apartment building shortly after 7 a.m. on Friday.
Duysen said it took about 15 minutes to put out the fire. Residents of two units on the top floor survived the blaze, and state fire investigators and a mobile crime lab from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were called after the bodies were found.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.