WILLMAR, Minn. (WCCO) — Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death of a 79-year-old woman earlier this week in Willmar. Authorities believe the homicide took place amid a burglary attempt.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office was called to the 3000 block of Highway 12 East at about 5:09 p.m. Monday to check on the welfare of a person living at the residence.
When authorities arrived, they found Lila Warwick dead inside her home, where she lived alone.
Authorities said she had suffered multiple stab wounds and also sustained injuries to her neck consistent with strangulation.
On Thursday, the sheriff’s office announced they had taken a 19-year-old man, a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy into custody. The former was identified as Brok Nathaniel Junkermeier, and the two juveniles were not named.
“They knew her and so there was an association that way,” Sheriff Daniel Hartog said.
Hartog wouldn’t say how the teenagers knew Warwick, but did say things were stolen from the residence – and signs of a struggle.
“It did show that there was some strangulation evident and also numerous stabs,” Hartog said.
Junkermeier has been booked into the Kandiyohi County Jail on expected charges of second-degree murder and first-degree burglary.
The 16-year-old boy was booked at Prairie Lakes Youth Program Detention Facility for liability crimes of another.
Court appearances are pending for both.
The sheriff’s office said officers arrested the 17-year-old boy around 1:15 p.m. Thursday.
The victim volunteered at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Willmar teaching vacation Bible school, and she spent a lot of time with her teenage grandchildren.