Two individuals were found dead at a vacation residence in Wahkon late in the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 8.
Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren reported the bodies have been identified as 67-year-old Darwin Ziegler and 45-year-old Doug Kros. It was determined Kros was the stepson of Ziegler.
Lindgren reports at this time that there are no further suspects in connection with this case. “There is no reason for there to be elevated fear in the area,” Lindgren said. “The tragic homicidal violence appears to have taken place inside the residence between the stepson and Darwin.”
At approximately 4:08 p.m. on Oct. 8 the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Answering Point received a call requesting a welfare check on Ziegler at the 40000 block of Tomahawk Drive, Wahkon, inside an area commonly referred to as Mille Lacs Island Resort.
According to Lindgren the Mille Lacs County deputy forced entry into the residence after there was no answer at the door. Darwin’s vehicle was found parked in the driveway along with Kros' vehicle.
Upon entry it was determined the service door had been wedged with a chair securing it from the inside. The deputy found an individual hanging by his neck in a rear bedroom. The deputy lifted the individual and checked for signs of life (pulse), but there were none.
Lindgren reported that while waiting for the Sheriff’s Investigation Unit and Mobile Crime Lab, the deputy determined the person found hanging in the rear bedroom did not match the description of Ziegler. The Deputy re-entered and found identification in that room belonging to Kros. Kros was determined to be the stepson of Ziegler.
Upon further investigation by the MLC deputies on the scene, another recently deceased body was located in another room that appeared to have died from homicidal violence with a plastic bag over his head. This individual did match the description of 67-year-old Darwin Ziegler and was found in a bedroom believed to belong to Ziegler.
The area was secured and processed as a crime scene by the sheriff’s office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Lindgren reported there was a suicide note recovered from the residence that appeared to have been written by Kros articulating in some detail what he had done to Ziegler prior to taking his own life by suicide hanging.
The case remains under investigation by the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office and the Anoka County Medical Examiner’s Office who will make positive identification of the bodies recovered.
Anyone with knowledge or information surrounding the interaction between Ziegler and Kros leading up to the days and weeks prior to the incident are asked to contact Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office Investigators Jason Gallion or Allen Tutland at (320) 983-8250.