Almost from the beginning, William Gene Myears has been the prime suspect in the disappearance and murder of Erika Dalquist, who was last seen early Oct. 30, 2002, in downtown Brainerd.
During a news conference Sunday to announce that Dalquist's body had been found on Myears' grandparents' property, Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc declined to discuss details about the 25-year-old former Brainerd man, including his current whereabouts.
Myears had been charged with several misdemeanor crimes in the past, including trespassing, theft, disorderly conduct and a fifth-degree assault charge in 1997 in which he was found guilty of threatening to shoot his sister and her boyfriend, even showing his sister a clip for a handgun. Myears was arrested for terroristic threats, but those charges were later reduced to fifth-degree assault and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
But just over a year ago, Myears was again in Crow Wing County District Court, charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with Dalquist's disappearance.
The criminal complaint, which was filed Jan. 15, 2003, stated:
* On Dec. 24, 2002, Myears gave an interview to police investigators in which he said he had been in downtown Brainerd the night of Oct. 29, 2002, but that he didn't leave with Dalquist.
* After several witnesses' statements, including one from his brother, contradicted his statement, Myears, in a second interview Jan. 9, 2003, admitted to giving Dalquist a ride home.
* In a third interview Jan. 13, 2003, Myears told police he didn't know where Dalquist was and he didn't know if he had done something bad. "I hope I didn't. I can't remember. I want to remember everything that happened that night," Myears told police. Later in the same interview he told police, "Something happened and I did something."
Later in the same interview Myears told police the mine pits were the only place he could think of that he would've taken Dalquist's body. He drew officers a map. When an officer drove Myears to the mine pit, he became emotional and couldn't look into the pit. When questioned by the police officer about the exact location, Myears nodded his head and said, "In the pit. In the pit." He said he remembered being waist deep in water and that the body of Dalquist should be in that location.
After the search of the mine pit lake failed to yield Dalquist, the criminal charge against Myears was dropped on Jan. 31, 2003. Brainerd police investigators and Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan concluded more time was needed to investigate the case before bringing it to a grand jury.
And while Bolduc declined to comment on Myears Sunday, Crow Wing County Sheriff Eric Klang said the main suspect in the crime has not changed.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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