MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 23-year-old Le Sueur man is charged in the July stabbing death of a 74-year-old man from Eden Prairie.

Nathan Foth is facing one count of second degree murder in the death of Allen Retzer.

According to the criminal complaint, Retzer was first found dead in his home on July 22, with two stab wounds in his neck. Retzer’s relatives told police they thought his grandson and Foth could have been involved, but investigators later determined his grandson was not near the house in the days when the killing might have occurred.

Police also noticed someone had removed the license plates from one of his vans, and that another was missing. Authorities later recovered that van more than 1,200 miles away in the town of Draper, Utah.

In the van investigators recovered a cigarette butt — which prosecutors say contains Foth’s DNA — and two water bottles — which prosecutors say have Foth’s fingerprints. Police also discovered Foth’s fingerprints on an empty rifle case in the van, which appears to be for the same rifle that Foth owns and was missing from his closet.

Police also found evidence on Foth’s mother’s phone, according to the criminal complaint. A woman in Utah had texted her to say her son was found hitchhiking along a highway, and that he was safe. The text also included a picture of Foth wearing a shirt investigators say was too large for his frame, and that matched a similar set of shirts belonging to Retzer.

Police arrested Foth Tuesday when he returned to Minnesota by bus. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

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