Sheriff: County man victim of murder-suicide
A Wahkon man and his stepson were found dead from an apparent murder-suicide Saturday, Oct. 8.
Mille Lacs County deputies responded to 40196 Tomahawk Drive in Wahkon – a trailer in a trailer park known as Mille Lacs Island Resort – at about 4 p.m. Oct. 8 to conduct a welfare check on 67-year-old Darwin Ziegler.
Vehicles belonging to Ziegler and his 45-year-old stepson were parked outside the residence. When deputies got no answer at the door of the residence, they made a forced entry into the trailer.
Upon entering the trailer, deputies found a male hanging by his neck in a rear bedroom. The man had no pulse, according to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren.
While deputies waited for a mobile crime lab to arrive on scene, they noted that the deceased did not appear to be the 67-year-old Ziegler, whom they were searching for. The man found hanging was later identified as 45-year-old Doug Kros. Kros is Ziegler’s stepson, Lindgren said.
Deputies searching the scene later found Ziegler’s body in what is believed to be Ziegler’s bedroom. Ziegler was the victim of homicidal violence, Lindgren said. Ziegler’s body was found with a plastic bag over its head, he said.
A suicide note was recovered at the scene, Lindgren said. The note appeared to be written by Kros and stated in detail what he had done to Ziegler prior to Kros taking his own life, he said.
Lindgren said authorities are not attempting to locate any additional suspects at this time.
“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.”
The case remained under investigation Tuesday by the Mille Lacs county Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with knowledge or information regarding the interaction between Darwin Ziegler and Doug Kros leading up to the days and weeks prior to the Oct. 8 incident are asked to contact Mille Lacs County investigators Jason Gallion or Allen Tutland at 320-983-8250.