Charges of second-degree manslaughter were dropped today against William Gene Myears, the 24-year-old Brainerd man arrested Jan. 13 in connection with the disappearance of Erika Dalquist.
A joint news release issued by Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan, Crow Wing County Sheriff Eric Klang and Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc stated the charges against Myears were dismissed after investigators and prosecutors concluded that more time was needed to investigate the case before bringing it to a grand jury.
Myears was released from Crow Wing County Jail at 9:15 a.m. today. The news release stated the family of Dalquist was consulted regarding the dismissal of charges against Myears.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Myears Jan. 15, he admitted to police investigators that he had given 21-year-old Dalquist a ride home from downtown Brainerd on Oct. 30, and that the mine pits were the only place he could think of that he would've taken Erika Dalquist's body.
Based on Myears' statement, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department has been searching the Virginia Mine Pit Lake near Trommald, but so far has not found Dalquist's body.
The news release also said investigators want more time to search for Dalquist's body. The search may take until summer because of the ice cap on the Virginia Mine Pit Lake.
The Trident Foundation, a Colorado-based non-profit organization that specializes in aquatic investigation and recovery, has offered the use of a remote-operated vehicle to help in the search for Dalquist.
Klang said today six members of the foundation would be in Brainerd within the next few weeks to search the mine pit lake. Other lakes in the immediate area also might be searched, Klang said.
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