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Cloquet Man Arrested In Connection With 2000 Slaying

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(credit: John Li/Getty Images)

(credit: John Li/Getty Images)

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CLOQUET, Minn. (AP) — Twelve years after a woman’s body was found on the side of a road in St. Louis County, authorities there have arrested a man in connection with her stabbing death.

The sheriff’s office said in a statement Friday that a 41-year-old Cloquet man had been taken into custody. The man was being held Saturday on tentative charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

A news conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon. The statement did not provide details as to how the suspect was linked to the 2000 death of Trina Louise Langenbrunner, a 33-year-old mother of three. Her body was found near the Fond du Lac Reservation.

Langenbrunner’s family released a statement through the sheriff’s office that said, “We have been made aware of the arrest and ask that everyone respect our privacy in this difficult time.”

The case had baffled authorities for years. Investigators had said they believed Langenbrunner knew her killer and that she had tried to fight off the attacker, but they came up empty in their efforts to find a suspect with fresh cuts, scratches or bruises.

Langenbrunner was stabbed to death sometime after telling friends she was going to hitchhike to Grand Rapids to see her estranged husband.

Investigators followed hundreds of leads without a break.

“There are times when we feel helpless as a family,” Sharri St. Germaine, one of Langenbrunner’s two sisters, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2004. “What more can we do? We just try to renew our pleas and keep our faith and keep praying.”

Langenbrunner had moved from St. Paul to Cloquet several years before her death and worked as a home health aide. She was a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe.

Langenbrunner was last seen alive around midnight at her Cloquet home, six miles from where her body was found. Witnesses told police she spent most of the night in Brookston and Fond du Lac Reservation bars, investigators said in 2000.

The family had been tormented by the idea that someone nearby knew something about the killing. The family might have even known the killer, Doug St. Germaine, one of the victim’s two brothers, said in 2004.

“You never know,” he said. “You could be talking to the person, and it could be the one who did it.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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