MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities are hoping you can help them solve a 2-year-old cold case.

On this day in 2019, a 76-year-old woman called police to report someone was inside her house.

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Evelyn Adams died after her encounter with that intruder in rural Mankato. The person or people responsible have not been found.

(credit: CBS)

Feb. 23, 2019 brought a severe snowstorm to the Mankato area. Adams was home alone that night. A neighbor called 911 to report seeing one or possibly two people standing outside Adams’ house.

“He saw somebody standing outside by her door,” Capt. Paul Barta with the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office said.

Shortly after, Adams also called authorities. Her husband was out of the home at the time receiving medical care.

“She encountered someone in her house and was injured and needed some help. The storm, or the impacts of that weather that night, did delay first responders’ efforts to get to that scene,” Barta said.

The intruder was already gone.

Adams had some minor head injuries. She was able to give a vague description of the person she encountered but their face was covered.

She was taken to the hospital where she later died.

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“For the most part everyone knows everyone. Everyone was really shocked to hear that someone hurt her,” neighbor Colin Abrahamson said.

Investigators did over 100 interviewers and executed search warrants.

Barta says the motive may not have been an intentional act of violence.

“There could have been somebody that was maybe getting into Evelyn’s house for another reason, had no intentions of hurting her and something simply happened,” he said.

Adams’ stepson told WCCO:

“Evelyn was a 76-year-old lady, a totally innocent victim of this crime, and did not deserve this. We would really appreciate any help anybody could offer in solving this crime.”

Investigators believe they are close to solving the case, but need help from the public.

Anyone with information should call the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office or reach out to Crime Stoppers of Minnesota.

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There is a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Kate Raddatz