Faribault home death now homicide investigation: Police

FARIBAULT, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Faribault Police Department has announced it’s now investigating the circumstances of a "suspicious" death in a home as a homicide.

On Monday, police initially conducted a welfare check around 2:15 p.m. on the 20 block of Mitchell Drive, where officers found a man dead inside a home. Officials identified the victim on Wednesday as 76-year-old Gary Robert Lehmeyer.

"The circumstances surrounding the incident are suspicious in nature, and as such, the residence is being treated as a crime scene," police said at the time.

On Tuesday, Faribault Police Chief John Sherwin held a press conference to announce an active homicide investigation was now underway.

"After investigating for the last 24 hours, we have been able to determine that this was actually a homicide," Sherwin said at a press conference.

According to Sherwin, officers first on scene, "quickly realized that the [victim’s] car was absent from the residence."

The vehicle has since been recovered by a law enforcement agency in Iowa, police said, but no suspect is currently in custody.

<div>Faribault Police Chief John Sherwin provides an update on the active homicide investigation.</div>
Faribault Police Chief John Sherwin provides an update on the active homicide investigation.

"Information suggests this isn't a random crime," Sherwin said. "We believe that there was some type of relationship between the victim and the offender."

An autopsy is currently underway by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, but "preliminary results show that the victim died of homicidal violence. There are wounds that are consistent with trauma to the body," Sherwin said on Tuesday.

Residents who may have witnessed anything "suspicious" over the weekend are encouraged to contact the Faribault Police Department.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is assisting in the investigation, which remains active.