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October 25, 2014

Third teen arrested in slaying of 79-year-old Willmar woman

Authorities say a third suspect, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested Thursday afternoon in connection with the murder of an elderly Willmar woman, according to KARE 11.

Lila Warwick, 79, a church volunteer, was found dead in her home Monday afternoon. Autopsy reports indicate Warwick died of multiple stab wounds and strangulation, the West Central Tribune reported.

Two other teens, ages 16 and 19, were arrested late Wednesday.

The 19-year-old man was booked into the Kandiyohi County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder and first-degree burglary, and the 16-year-old boy was booked into the Prairie Lakes Youth Program Detention Facility in Willmar on suspicion of liability crimes of another for second-degree murder and first-degree burglary, the newspaper reports. Formal charges are still pending.

KARE 11 reports that records indicate the 19-year-old has a criminal history, including four convictions since December 2012. Three involve theft.

Kandiyohi County Sheriff Daniel Hartog told WCCO that the suspects knew Warwick, but wouldn’t say how.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to Warwick’s home to conduct a welfare check after she never showed up to take her 14-year-old granddaughter to vacation Bible school, the Star Tribune reported.

Warwick had eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and helped with office duties and vacation Bible school at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Willmar.