A 32-year-old Minnesota man has been arrested and charged in connection to a double-fatal hit-and-run in western Wisconsin nearly seven years ago.
Two men were killed Jan. 11, 2014 when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver in the on County Hwy. E in Polk County, near Balsam Lake. Killed in the incident were Wisconsin men, Richard L. Cobenais, 41, of Luck, and Benjamin R. Juarez, 28, of Frederic.
The man charged this week is Andrew Endres, of Randolph, Minnesota, who is facing two felony counts of hit-and-run resulting in death. He was formally charged Wednesday in Polk County Circuit Court and is being held at the Dakota County Jail in Hastings pending extradition to Wisconsin.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office reported in January following a break in the case that the two victims were allegedly involved in a fight at a nearby residence, before the confrontation continued onto the road moments before the men were fatally struck by a vehicle.
That break led to another break Sept. 28 when the sheriff's office received a call from a man who said his "soon-to-be ex-wife" once told him that Endres "was the driver of the truck that struck and killed the Native Americans," according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators determined that the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run was a Ford F-150 extended cab pickup, likely black in color with a model year between 1997 and 2003.
They also suspected the truck to have had two auxiliary amber warning lights at the top of the cab, with witnesses reporting seeing a blue plastic barrel in the back of the pickup.
According to the complaint, Endres sold a black 1997 Ford F-150, which on Oct. 13 was turned over to authorities by the owner in Crow Wing County, Minnesota.
Authorities were then able to make contact with a man who was a passenger in the truck at the time of the deadly impact, and that man said he and Endres went back to the cabin they were staying at and he tried to distract other people inside the cabin while Endres "tried to clean the truck off with bleach."
On Oct. 14, police located Endres at a meat market in Hampton, Minnesota, where Endres said he wasn't in the Balsam Lake area the night of the incident while adding: "I hate to tell you, I think you're going on a wild goose chase," according to the complaint.
It's unclear if the passenger who was in the truck at the time of the hit-and-run will be charged.