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One year after homicide, sheriff still searches for answers

WORTHINGTON -- Exactly one year after Jan Pigman-Kruse was fatally shot in her Brewster home, the Nobles County Sheriff's Office has exhausted all leads and turned its investigation over to the Nobles County Attorney's Office.

WORTHINGTON -- Exactly one year after Jan Pigman-Kruse was fatally shot in her Brewster home, the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office has exhausted all leads and turned its investigation over to the Nobles County Attorney’s Office.

Sheriff Kent Wilkening said Thursday his department has followed up on every lead and completed interviews -- sometimes more than one -- with individuals.

“At this point in time, unless more information comes forward, our investigation is complete,” Wilkening said. “We’ve turned all of our reports and our evidence over to the county attorney’s office to have them look at it for a charging decision.”

Nobles County Attorney Kathleen Kusz said the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted an interview on Wednesday, which was the last document filed in the case. Once she has the complete file, Kusz said the next step will be to evaluate the evidence and determine the next course of action.

“There are a couple possibilities,” she said, adding that her office could charge out the case or decline to charge it. A third option is that the attorney’s office could submit the file to a grand jury, which would decide whether there’s enough information to charge someone in the case.

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Kusz couldn’t offer a timeline for the process, but said, “We’re going to make (a decision) as soon as possible. We understand how important it is, and we’ll get to it as soon as we can.

“It’s a priority for us and we’re not going to unnecessarily delay our decision on this,” she added.

While the investigation is complete to date, Wilkening said anyone with new or additional information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office and ask to speak with the investigator. Any new information will then be turned over to the county attorney’s office.

“Right now, it’s been a year and I know they wrapped up some investigation stuff earlier this week on some interviews,” Wilkening said of his department. “If anything else comes up we’ll surely look into it, and we’ll keep looking into it until we get somebody arrested and convicted.”

Related Topics: CRIME
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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