Arrest made in 2000 killing of Cloquet womanJoseph John Couture, 41 of Cloquet, was taken into custody at 335 Second St. in Cloquet without incident, charged in the Sept. 3, 2000, murder of Trina Langenbrunner.
By: Mike Creger, Duluth News Tribune
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office announced late Friday that it has made an arrest in a 12-year-old murder case.
Joseph John Couture of Cloquet was arrested in the Sept. 3, 2000, stabbing death of Trina Langenbrunner. The case was considered one of the most high-profile cold cases in the county.
Couture, 41, is a level three sex offender and is being held in St. Louis County Jail on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Couture was arrested in 1993 on felony burglary charges and faced various misdemeanor charges before a conviction for second-degree sexual conduct in 2006. He had been charged with 11 counts of first-degree sexual conduct with a person under age 13 before pleading to the final charge.
Langenbrunner’s stabbed body was discovered off a rural road in southern St. Louis County. The 33-year-old was the mother of three.
The sheriff’s office provided no other information on the arrest.
In a 2005 interview, Bill Hagenah, a senior special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in Bemidji, talked about how difficult cold cases can be to close.
“Based on circumstances, I think it’s highly likely it was a stranger or somebody who interacted with Trina just in that moment,” Hagenah said at the time. “That makes it difficult. We spent thousands of man-hours over there working that. It has the air of solvability to it, but we’re missing some key elements: witnesses or biological evidence that would be useful to us.”‘
There was a $100,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Langenbrunner’s killer.
Langenbrunner’s family asked for privacy Friday night after they received news of the arrest.