A 19-year-old Brainerd man has been arrested in connection with the death of a female, whose body was found following a party Wednesday near Pine Mountain Lake near Backus.
The Cass County Sheriff's Department reported Matthew M. Martin was arrested Saturday by sheriff's investigators and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents in the Twin Cities area. He is being held at the Cass County Jail pending formal charges from the county attorney.
Sheriff Randy Fisher said Martin and the victim, whose name and age haven't been released, were at a party in the Foot Hills State Forest west of Backus the night the female died. Authorities recovered her body after it was found by a property owner near a residence.
Fisher said Martin's arrest was the result of statements taken by others at the party and evidence collected at the scene.
"From a law enforcement perspective we're certainly investigating this as a homicide," Fisher said. "It's just a tragedy."
Fisher declined to comment on what investigators believe led to the female's death because the incident was still under investigation. No other arrests in the case were imminent, he added.
Investigators believe a weapon was used in the homicide, Fisher said, but he declined to elaborate on what type of weapon until the cause and manner of death are determined through an autopsy. He said he hoped autopsy results will be returned sometime this week.
Fisher said the female's name and age would be released once positive identification has been made by the medical examiner's office.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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