Charges: After fatal shooting, mom and son shaved their heads, fled the area

Joseph Fohrenkam is charged with second-degree manslaughter, while his mom faces an aiding an offender charge in connection to the Dec. 28, 2020, shooting.
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Joseph Fohrenkam, left, and his mother, Little Fawn Fohrenkam. 

Joseph Fohrenkam, left, and his mother, Little Fawn Fohrenkam. 

A Cloquet woman is accused of hiding her son – a suspect in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy last month – from authorities for more than a week, shaving their heads to disguise themselves and ditching their car to conceal their whereabouts, according to charges. 

Little Fawn Fohrenkam, 38, is charged with aiding an offender to avoid arrest, accused of helping her son, Joseph James Fohrenkam, escape after he allegedly shot his friend, Joesph James Peterson, on Dec. 28, 2020. The shooting happened while the pair were sitting in a pick-up truck drinking brandy outside the Fohrenkams' home on Giiniw Road, on the Fond du Lac Reservation near Cloquet. 

The Fohrenkams were arrested on Jan. 6 at an apartment complex on the White Earth Reservation in Mahnomen County, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said. 

According to the charges against the mother and son, witnesses told police Peterson and four others were drinking in a truck on Giiniw Road. Joseph Fohrenkam was showing off his gun and accidentally shot Peterson below his left eye.

One of the witnesses called 911 to report the shooting, and in the background of the call Little Fawn Fohrenkam and Joseph Fohrenkam could be heard yelling and arguing about what had happened, the complaint says. 

The others in the truck were told to leave the property, the witnesses told investigators. When the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office arrived, the witnesses were gone. 

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office on Dec. 29 issued an arrest warrant for Joseph Fohrenkam, saying he's believed to be with his mother. 

After more than a week, authorities on Jan. 6 arrested the Fohrenkams at an apartment building on College Road in Mahnomen. The complaint did not say how they were found, but Little Fawn Fohrenkam gave Mahnomen County Sheriff's deputies a false name and they found Joseph Fohrenkam hiding in a couch. 

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The complaint notes – and their booking photos confirm – they shaved their heads to change their appearance. Little Fawn Fohrenkam admitted to police that she drove her son away from the scene of the shooting "to protect and hide him from law enforcement," the complaint says. She indicated she then ditched their car to hide where they were. 

Little Fawn Fohrenkam was arraigned on Monday and her bail was set at $30,000, DL-Online reports.

Joseph Fohrenkam was charged via a warrant on Dec. 30, 2020, with second-degree manslaughter. He was arraigned on Friday, with jail records showing his bail was set at $400,000.

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