Medford man ID’d as body found in Steele Co.; Death ruled ‘apparent homicide’

Published 11:08 am Wednesday, June 29, 2016

By William Morris

Owatonna People’s Press

OWATONNA — Police have identified the body of a man found dead on the side of a Steele County gravel road on Sunday as a 22-year-old from Medford.

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The death of Richard William Jurgensen is being investigated as a homicide by the Steele County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, according to a press release issued late Tuesday afternoon by Sheriff Lon Thiele.

Police were alerted to the body by a 911 call shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. The body was found on a gravel road in a sparsely-populated portion of the county. Officials at the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Rochester conducted an autopsy Monday morning, with additional testing on Tuesday.

Steele County Attorney Dan McIntosh said Monday that the people who made the 911 call were identified and fully questioned. He described them as “cooperative,” though he declined to say what they said, citing the ongoing investigation.

“We don’t know how he got out there,” McIntosh said Monday, adding that there was “not a lot of physical evidence” to aid in the investigation.

Thiele noted in Tuesday’s release that no suspects are currently in custody and asked anyone with information in the case to contact police.

Reached by phone, he said investigators are not yet able to release the exact cause or estimated time of death, but said he hoped to have more information available Wednesday.

Persons with information can call the Steele County Tip Line at 866-878-7964 or Steele/Rice 911 Center at 507-451-8232.