textile
An officer with the Minnesota Bureau Criminal Apprehension talks with Austin Police officers at the scene of a suspected homicide, which happened early Friday morning in the 500 block of Fourth Street Northwest, just down from Austin High School and Pacelli Catholic Schools. --

Son, now dead, is suspect in father’s murder

Published 1:01pm Saturday, February 2, 2013

Community in shock after killing

A 46-year-old former Austin man, now dead, is a suspect in his father’s murder, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Now, people are wondering why.

Members of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension work the scene in front of a home that was the site of a suspected homicide.

Police say a man was killed in front of an apartment near St. Augustine Church early Friday morning. When they got there, they saw a car speeding away, so they pursued it in a high-speed chase through three counties before it crashed, killing the driver.

Sandra Byers and her children heard about the reported murder Friday, and it took them by surprise. They often saw the man, 86-year-old Dennis Seberson, walking in the neighborhood. They knew he was a nice man who loved his granddaughter.

“He always worried for her,” Sandra said, whose daughter, Kimberly, knows Dennis’ granddaughter. “He was a nice, old man.”

That friend later called Kimberly and mentioned what happened, and the Byers learned the the suspect was Dennis’ son, Craig Seberson, who most recently lived in Meservey, Iowa, according to his brother. Craig was a 1985 graduate of Austin High School.

The red Saab that rolled near Waseca and was driven by the suspect in the homicide in Austin is hauled into Austin Friday afternoon. -- Colby Hanson/newsroom@austindailyherald.com

It was saddening news for Kimberly, as she played in that apartment complex with that friend.

On Friday, a witness called 911 at 3 a.m. and reported yelling, and then saw a body in the front yard of the apartments at 510 Fourth St. NW. A police officer responded and saw a red 2001 Saab 93 speeding away from the scene. Multiple law enforcement agencies chased the suspect for 50 miles at speeds exceeding 130 mph. Craig, the reported driver, eventually lost control of his car, rolled into a field near Waseca and was ejected. He died at the scene.

Police tape and plastic cordones off the home at 510 Fourth St. NW Friday morning, the site of a possible homicide.

Sandra arrived home from third shift on Friday morning with no clue what was happening. Police tape blocked much of the neighborhood for the entire day. The police did not want to release names before the results of an autopsy were completed, but the Department of Public Safety released the names Saturday afternoon.

Dennis owned the apartment building on that block since the 1960s, according to the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s office, and another neighbor mentioned that all the tenants are seemingly nice people. Others in the neighborhood, like Luke Johnson, who has lived on the other side of the block for 10 years, wondered what happened, as well. He has never heard any squabbling in the neighborhood. His daughter also played with a youngster in that apartment building.

“That’s why it was kind of shocking,” he said.

The Byers were also unaware of any animosity between the two Sebersons.

Minnesota court records show Craig was convicted of felony domestic assault in 2003 and gross misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer in 2008.

Reports said the victim suffered head trauma, was not breathing and had no pulse when police arrived. A large tarp blocked the view of the yard throughout the day.

The Herald was unable to reach tenants of the apartment complex Friday for comments.

The BCA and Austin Police Department are leading the investigation into the homicide. Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the chase and subsequent crash near Waseca. Waseca Police Departments and the Freeborn, Mower and Waseca County sheriff’s offices are assisting with both investigations.

Initial reports from the State Patrol said Craig was from Oakdale, Minn., a Twin Cities suburb, but his most recent residence was Meservey, Iowa.  Initial reports also said police were looking for a gun, although the DPS says Dennis died from blunt force trauma.

—Adam Harringa contributed to this report.


Sign in to Comment | Need help commenting? Click here

  • Tony

    Prayers for Kelly and the whole family. Grew up with the family near Lansing. Dennis and Donna would have done anything for anyone. Sadly missed.

    Report comment

Editor's Picks