Police looking for murder suspect
Third murder in a week The Duluth Police Department is investigating the third murder in the Duluth area in a week. At a press conference this morning, Deputy Chief Robert Grytdahl updated the media on the most recent murder, the second case invo...
Third murder in a week
The Duluth Police Department is investigating the third murder in the Duluth area in a week.
At a press conference this morning, Deputy Chief Robert Grytdahl updated the media on the most recent murder, the second case involving domestic violence.
Police are on the lookout for Douglas Michael Edling, 38 and have issued a warrant for Edling on a second-degree murder charge.
On Tuesday at 11:50 a.m., Viking Motel employees called the Duluth Police to report they had found JillMarie Hann VonHennchen, 37 of Duluth, dead in the bathtub in Room 206. According to Grytdahl, the woman had been beaten and strangled. It appeared someone had been drinking all night in the room, he said, but was not aware of drugs found in the room. People staying at the motel also reported hearing loud noises from the room in the early morning hours. Edling had rented the room where VonHennchen's body was found.
Grytdahl said friends and family say that Edling had a six-month relationship with VonHennchen. During this time, he was arrested for domestic violence two times. The two also said they were planning on getting married. They didn't have a permanent Duluth address, but lived in several motels and in a tent, Grytdahl said.
Edling left the motel early Tuesday morning and is suspected of leaving Duluth by a Greyhound bus. Police say he took a bus headed for Minneapolis at 7 a.m.
At this point, police do not know where Edling is, but police in Minneapolis, Mora and Northfield, all places Edling has lived, are helping with the search.
This is the third murder in the Duluth area the last eight days. Last Wednesday, Lawrence Walter Welsh Wittkop was charged for second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Nicole Mae Wittkop, 23. On Sunday, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department discovered the body of Trina Louise Langenbrunner, 33, of Cloquet, near Brookston. The Sheriff's Department is still investigating this case. Police say Langenbrunner case is a homicide.
"I think that folklore tells us they come in threes," said Grytdahl, talking of bad luck. "I hope they don't come in threes and fours."
There is no connection between the murders. Grytdahl said in most domestic homicides there is a connection between alcoholism and violence. Domestic violence cases don't appear to be going up in Duluth, Grytdahl added, despite the murders.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Edling is requested to contact the Duluth Police Detective Bureau at 722-3434 or their local authorites. In addition, police request information from anyone staying at the Viking Motel, located at 2511 London Road, on the night of Monday, Sept. 4.