Skip to main content

Charges: Elderly Paynesville couple were asphyxiated, strangled by grandson

Gregory Scheel has been charged with two counts of murder.

The elderly Paynsville couple found dead on Thursday were asphyxiated and strangled by their grandson, charges allege.

The criminal complaint against Gregory Scheel suggests the 33 year old killed Wilbert, 93, and Gloria Scheel, 80, in the home where they all lived at 1525 West Mill Street.

Wilbert (Willie) Scheel was asphyxiated with a plastic bag, while Gloria was strangled with an electrical cord.

They were reported missing on Wednesday after they failed to show for a family dinner.

A family member went to their house at 6:50 p.m. that day. It was there that they spoke to the younger Scheel, who said the couple weren't home and had left earlier in the day, headed to Sauk Rapids.

But just a few minutes after the family member left, surveillance footage showed Scheel leave the property in his grandparents' Toyota Prius, seemingly alone.

Officers searched the house on Thursday after all three had been reported missing, and found spots of possible blood in the garage, which had recently been cleaned.

Deaths of Paynesville 'royalty'

The Prius was found later that day with the grandparents' bodies found inside.

Wilbert (Willie) Scheel's arms and legs were bound and there was a plastic bag over his head, while his wife had electrical cord wrapped around her neck.

They were covered with a carpet and parts of the car's interior had been burned, with the rest of it smelling of gasoline.

Wilbert Scheel died from asphyxiation, an autopsy found, while Gloria Scheel was strangled to death.

Gregory Scheel was found about four hours later about a half-mile from the vehicle. He has been charged with two counts of 2nd degree murder.

The Star Tribune reports the Scheels were beloved in Paynesville, with those who knew them describing them as local "royalty."

According to KSTP, Gregory Scheel has prior convictions for burglary, theft, drugs, DWI, stolen property, domestic assault, abuse and violating an order for protection. 

Next Up

Julissa Thaler

Eli Hart killing: Police investigating multiple crime scenes

An announcement Tuesday confirmed potential crime scenes in Mound and Minnetrista.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Minneapolis accused of backtracking on 24/7 bus lanes for Hennepin Ave.

The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on Thursday.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Duluth brings back masking in city buildings amid COVID surge

Duluth, in one of the state's current COVID hotspots, has brought back a mask requirement in city buildings.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 24

Minnesota has now surpassed 12,600 COVID deaths.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Violent Offender Task Force in standoff with suspect in St. Cloud

Police announced the standoff at 10:14 a.m. Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 11.08.59 AM

Cause of fire that destroyed Waterville bar remains unknown

The fire destroyed the Funky Munky Bar and damaged several other properties.

dicks house of sport Minnetonka_48

Pro athletes to attend opening of Minnetonka Dick's Sporting Goods

The grand opening is set for June 3, with special guests appearing June 3-5.

Minneapolis police

Death of man found inside Minneapolis apartment ruled homicide

Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call 1-800-222-8477.

minnesota state fair bandshell concert

Minnesota State Fair reveals its free concert lineup for 2022

More than 900 performances will happen across numerous stages.

Related

Missing elderly couple found dead, grandson arrested

The couple, 93 and 80, were found dead in their car.

Charges: Bloomington woman bludgeoned, strangled roommate

The victim had electrical cord around her neck, with a bloodied dumbbell found nearby.

Michelle missing outing

Charges: Woman missing for weeks in northern MN was strangled

A 34-year-old man has been charged with her murder.

Scott Alan Schulman

Charges: Alleged Minnesota killer used piece of lumber as weapon

The 21-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.52.55 AM

Man charged with stabbing wife to death in Bloomington

The 56-year-old has been charged with murder.

Paynesville man arrested, accused of murdering his grandparents

The 33-year-old was arrested Thursday after his grandparents' bodies were found.