Woman accused of stabbing, strangling 76-year-old man to death in Faribault

A woman accused of stealing a dead Faribault man’s van earlier this month is now charged with his murder, court documents show.

Investigators say 32-year-old Arlene Bell stabbed, strangled and bound 76-year-old Gary Lehmeyer before taking his van and heading south for the Mexico border.

Police found Lehmeyer’s body on Feb. 5 while performing a welfare check at the home where they had both been living.

A state trooper pulled Bell over in Iowa the same day because she appeared as though she was high on drugs, the complaint states. She told authorities she had used meth a couple of days earlier and was still “coming down.”

Prosecutors note Lehmeyer was physically disabled and had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s dementia about a decade earlier.

Bell faces one count each of second-degree murder and motor vehicle theft. She remains in custody in Dallas County, Iowa, and officials are working to extradite her back to Minnesota.