Suspect arrested in Nevada for murder of Coon Rapids man

A suspect in the murder of a Coon Rapids man has been arrested in Nevada, authorities say.

According to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, 42-year-old John Joseph Hare was taken into custody and is now awaiting extradition to face a second-degree murder charge in the death of 62-year-old David Charles Nelson.

Coon Rapids police responded to the 10100 block of Wintergreen Street Northwest at 10:26 a.m. on Feb. 23 after family members reported finding an unconscious man inside the home.

According to a criminal complaint, Nelson’s family said they hadn’t heard from Nelson in some time and went to check on him. After entering his home, they found him on the ground surrounded by a large pool of blood.

Officers noted Nelson had significant head trauma and several lacerations, including one to his throat, and believed he’d been dead for at least 24 hours.

The complaint states that officers also found two cellphones by Nelson’s body; one belonged to Nelson and one was registered to Hare.

Investigators found Hare’s phone had a text message from a past girlfriend that apparently referenced Nelson’s death, the complaint notes. Additionally, the mother of Hare’s child told authorities that she’d picked Hare up near Nelson’s home at around 3 p.m. on Feb. 21, saying Hare was “distraught” and made statements appearing to reference a death.

When officers talked with Hare’s past girlfriend, who’d texted him, she said Hare told her that he needed help at Nelson’s home at around 10:12 p.m. on Feb. 20. The woman said, when she arrived at the home, she found Nelson on the floor, covered in blood but still alive, and Hare was also covered in blood. The complaint states the woman “very accurately” described the crime scene without prompting.

The woman said Hare claimed Nelson had attempted suicide but Nelson, still alive, refuted that and said Hare beat him. The woman told investigators that she then ran away because she was afraid of what Hare might do to her.

Officers eventually tracked Hare to Nye County, Nevada, after learning he had another cellphone.