With the body of Lewis James Wilczek identified and his death ruled an apparent homicide, investigators are now trying to piece together the events that led to his death.
Wilczek, 21, of Little Falls, was reported missing by his family on April 30 - a day after he had made a trip to St. Cloud to meet with an acquaintance. On Saturday his body was found in a shallow grave in rural Mille Lacs County.
The Anoka County Medical Examiner's office on Monday, using dental records, identified the body as Wilczek's. But the official cause and manner of his death had not been determined as of Tuesday.
Sgt. Jerry Edblad, public information officer with the St. Cloud Police Department, said he couldn't determine when the official autopsy results would be returned. He said investigators are now following up on various leads and trying to develop timelines into Wilczek's disappearance and death.
On May 2, St. Cloud police received a tip from Wilczek's sister, who had seen her brother's Ford F-350 pickup in north St. Cloud. After the pickup was stopped by police officers, the driver identified himself as Lewis Wilczek. It was later learned the driver was actually Jeremy Jason Hull, 24, St. Cloud. He was arrested for providing false information to police and on outstanding warrants for various cases of fraud around Minnesota. He is being held in the Stearns County jail.
While no criminal charges have been filed as of against Hull in connection with Wilczek's disappearance, Little Falls Police Chief Mike Pender said in a previous statement that Hull remains a person of interest in the case.
Pender could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Edblad said investigators have not interviewed Hull because as soon as he was arrested he requested an attorney.
"He would not be able to be interviewed without an attorney present," Edblad said.
Edblad said he didn't know what specific information led investigators to search for Wilczek in Mille Lacs County, but he understood that helicopters were used to search several rural areas.
The case is a joint investigation of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the St. Cloud and Little Falls police departments and the Morrison, Stearns, Benton and Mille Lacs county sheriffs' departments. Edblad said once it is determined where Wilczek was killed, that agency would take over the lead in the investigation.
Wilczek, a graduate of Little Falls High School and Central Lakes College in Brainerd, is survived by his parents, Paul and Sharon Wilczek; brother, Paul Wilczek Jr.; and two sisters, Norine Wilczek and Lori Wilczek, all of Little Falls.
His funeral is planned at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Little Falls. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday at Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service, East Chapel, in Little Falls and from 8-9:30 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.