Although the family of 79-year-old Lila Warwick is welcoming news of arrests in her death, the victim's granddaughters admit the details released by police are hard to take.
"It just makes me sick," admitted Katie Ekbom, granddaughter of Lila Warwick.
Preliminary autopsy reports show Warwick died from being strangled and stabbed multiple times.
Late Wednesday evening, police arrested 19-year-old Brok Junkermeier and a 16-year-old. On Thursday afternoon, police arrested a 17-year-old boy as well. All three are from Willmar.
Warwick, who lived alone, was found dead Monday when deputies were called to her home off Highway 12 to check on her well-being. According to Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog, the two suspects arrested on Wednesday knew Warwick.
"They knew of her. There was an association that way," Sheriff Dan Hartog clarified.
"Willmar is not very big," said Ekbom. "I think they knew of her, but I don't think they knew her."
Junkermeier has a criminal record that includes multiple theft charges. He was arrested from his job in the mail room at West Central Tribune. The 16-year-old was arrested at his home.
Both teens arrested on Wednesday were booked into jail on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree burglary, and both are awaiting court hearings for formal charges from the Kandiyohi County attorney. It is not yet known what charges the 17-year-old may face or whether he also knew Warwick.
While they admit feeling somewhat relieved to know arrests have been made, Warwick's loved ones say they plan to take what comes one day at a time as they continue to learn more and grieve.
"Just thinking about all the happy times with her she would not want us to remember," Ekbom said. "She would not want us to remember her in her last minutes."
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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