A Kanabec County man is facing murder charges in the slaying of a 93-year-old Ogilvie woman.
Dustin Gene Tinklenberg, 42, a homeless man, appeared in Kanabec County Court on Friday, Sept. 16, and was charged with second-degree murder. Tinklenberg is accused of using a hatchet to kill his grandmother, Stella Anderson.
According to court records, first responders and law enforcement were called to an Ogilvie residence on the 1300 block of Highway 23 shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Anderson’s daughter had come over that morning to visit her mother and do some chores, but noted that the house was dark and the blinds were pulled. This was uncommon, as her mother usually opened the blinds to let the sun in.
The daughter saw Anderson lying on the couch but assumed she was napping. When she tried to shake her mother awake, she saw a laceration on Anderson’s face, ran out of the house and called the authorities.
Deputies at the scene secured the area and contacted Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office investigators, who then alerted the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and secured the crime scene.
Family members at the house were able to provide information to law enforcement that indicated Tinklenberg had been at Anderson’s residence the night before she was discovered.
According to court records, Tinklenberg “seemed to be upset, his fists were closed/clenched and that he was looking over the deck yelling at something.” Witnesses also reportedly heard shouting coming from inside the house.
Law enforcement searched and photographed the crime scene, with a deputy noting a black nylon sheath for a hatchet in one of the bedrooms. The hatchet was not located during that search.
Based on a tip from family members, law enforcement began looking for Tinklenberg and found him walking on the road, according to Sheriff Brian Smith.
Court records indicate that Tinklenberg was near the house of a former “significant other” and taken into custody.
Tinklenberg told officers that he had been sexually assaulted as a child by the victim and said she “continually harasses him and takes advantage of him,” court records state.
“Tinklenberg related that he believed that drones were following him around, believed that he was under observation by someone and reported surgeries had been performed on him that he did not recall having taken place,” stated the record. “Tinklenberg then proceeded to lift up his shirt to show (officers) the scars; no scarring was observed.”
Tinklenberg then said that his grandmother had committed another sexual assault and that she had “manipulated/altered the bacon he was eating, then said: ‘so I lost it.’”
Ramsey County Medical Examiner Dr. Kelly Mills conducted the preliminary autopsy and indicated that Anderson died of multiple sharp injuries to the head and the manner of death was homicide.
Help from public
The sheriff’s office is asking people who live in and around Ogilvie to walk their properties and notify the sheriff’s office if any sharp objects such as a hatchet are found.
“Do not touch any found objects,” the news release warned.
Kanabec County Sheriff Brian Smith indicated that this case is similar to that of Jackson Duce Johnson, who pleaded guilty on Aug. 31, to murdering his girlfriend at a Mora hotel.
“It’s really sad. This is very similar to the one we had in February with untreated mental illness, self-medication with illicit drugs, and homelessness with a lot of isolation,” Smith said. “They get scared, they get paranoid, and it’s not logical to the rest of us.”
Smith added that Tinklenberg was tested to see if he was under the influence of any legal or illegal substances, but those results are not yet available.
The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office, Pine County Sheriff’s Office, Itasca County Search and Rescue, East Central Violent Offender and Drug Task Force, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are assisting in the investigation.
Tinklenberg is currently in the Kanabec County jail. His next court appearance will be on Oct. 21.