Arrest made in hunting-related death of longtime retired NW Minnesota law officer

November 29, 2018

Authorities believe they have in custody the man responsible for the death 2andfrac12; weeks ago of a longtime law enforcement officer in northwestern Minnesota who was found shot in what is considered a hunting-related incident.

The 54-year-old suspect was jailed Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm, in connection with the Nov. 10 death of Jay C. Nelson, 53, of Cormorant Township, the Becker County Sheriffs Office said Wednesday.

The man, who is from nearby rural Ogema, is being held on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm. His criminal history includes sex-related crimes in 1993 and 2002.

He has yet to be charged. The Star Tribune generally does not identify a suspect before charges.

Nelson was driving on a logging trail roughly 20 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes when he was shot. Sheriff Todd Glander said Nelson had just finished hunting when he was shot about a half-mile west of Little Flat Lake in West Sugar Bush Township.

Nelson began his career in the mid-1980s working as a part-time deputy for Becker County Sheriffs Office and as a Pelican Rapids police officer. He then worked for various law enforcement agencies in North Dakota before joining the Lake Park, Minn., Police Department, where he became chief.

He left Lake Park and was a sheriffs deputy in Becker County from 1999 to 2006, then returned to the chiefs post in Lake Park until he retired in 2015.

Nelson leaves behind a wife, two children and one grandchild.

Paul Walsh 612-673-4482

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