City on edge as police investigate similar homicides in St. Cloud | KSTP.com

City on edge as police investigate similar homicides in St. Cloud

A memorial for 25-year-old Keisa Lange is placed at the spot where her body was found in St. Cloud. Photo: KSTP. A memorial for 25-year-old Keisa Lange is placed at the spot where her body was found in St. Cloud.

Jay Kolls
Updated: June 08, 2021 01:24 PM
Created: June 05, 2021 11:17 PM

Police say the deaths of two women in St. Cloud this past week have some similarities, but it's unclear if they're directly related.

Investigators say 28-year-old Janesa Harris was found dead from a gunshot wound Wednesday morning in her apartment on the 1400 block of 12th Avenue North. The next day, on a dirt road just off Interstate 94, 25-year-old Keisa Lange was found shot to death. Police say she arrived there by car, but there were no vehicles in the vicinity when investigators arrived.

The women's deaths, now officially ruled homicides, have neighbors in the city on edge.

Rachael Knighton says she heard neighbors shouting and screaming the morning Harris' body was found.

"You know, I don't talk to a lot of the neighbors because I just moved here recently, but I have noticed people are tense," she said. "I was in the office picking up a package and there was a huge fight erupting between a couple residents and office staff — everyone just seems really on edge."

Mike Schutta, who lives in an apartment building nearby, also said the atmosphere in the area is tense but he was confident police would "do their part."

"This is terrible what's going on in this neighborhood," he said. "It's just getting worse. The murders are right next door to us."

St. Cloud police say they have extra patrols in the area this weekend as they investigate both homicides. 

But for Rachael Knighton, after living here for just one month, she's seen enough.

"I have had weird interactions on the street with, like, people following me when I was alone with one of my dogs," she said. "It's just, there's been a lot of weirdness for just one month for me. This wasn't the only thing, but it definitely was kind of the final straw."

Because there are some similarities between the two homicides, the St. Cloud Police Department is working with the Stearns County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to find out if the cases are connected.


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