A 29-year-old Brainerd man wanted in connection with the murders of three people May 29 near Pillager remains at large, and law enforcement officials believe he may have left the area.
"It's a possibility he fled. We've received information that may be the case," said Cass County Sheriff Randy Fisher about Benjamin Joseph Kennedy. "We're pursuing a number of sources of information regarding his whereabouts, but at this time we don't know where he is."
Kennedy has been charged in Cass County District Court with three counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Jennifer Toal, 20, Brainerd; Daniel Harting, 36, Brainerd; and Ryan Englert, 19, Pillager.
Fisher wouldn't elaborate on what information law enforcement officials received that Kennedy may have fled the area.
A warrant has been issued for Kennedy's arrest. He is described as an Asian male, 6 feet tall, 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached, Fisher said.
Toal, Harting, and Englert were found dead in and near a rural Pillager mobile home in the Big Water residential area May 29. In a preliminary autopsy report the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office confirmed the three individuals were homicide victims. Fisher said his office is awaiting the final autopsy report.
Fisher said his investigators and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents have received information that drugs may have been a motive in the killings, but more information would need to be gathered to be sure.
It is unknown if Kennedy acted alone, Fisher said, and investigators are attempting to locate other area individuals to interview them regarding the murders.
Anyone with information about the homicides is asked to call the Cass County Sheriff's Department at (800) 450-2677, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department at 829-4749 or the Brainerd Police Department at 829-2805.
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