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Police: $5,000 reward for information in murder case

September 26, 2018

The Rochester Police Department has announced a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in an unsolved murder case.

Brandon Arndt, 38, of Rochester, was shot and killed after answering his door at 4 a.m. on Sept. 10.

Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin said Monday afternoon that while the department continues to investigate the murder, they have decided to offer a reward.

“We believe that who the suspect or suspects are in this case have talked to others and that there are other people who are not involved in this case who have knowledge of the actions of the individuals who committed this crime on the morning of Sept. 10,” Sherwin said. “We are appealing to those people to come forward. We are asking that they contact us. Do the right thing, and help us bring this killer to justice.”

Arndt was found shot in the head at the rear door of the manufactured home where he lived at Bob’s Trailer Court, 1915 Marion Road SE, lot 14.

Sherwin said Monday they had no known witnesses except for Arndt’s mother, Norma Hanson, who was in a bedroom at the home at the time of the incident. She reported hearing someone knock and then a loud bang. She found Arndt on the floor near the door and called 911.

Rochester police, the Rochester Fire Department and Gold Cross paramedics responded to the scene and rendered medical aid, but Arndt was declared dead at the scene.

Neighbors in the mobile home and RV park, who declined to be identified, said they believe Arndt was targeted.

Arndt’s mother released a statement Monday afternoon describing her only son as a man who “always had a smile for everyone despite the hardships he suffered in life.” Arndt recently had a kidney transplant and was looking forward to a new lease on life, Hanson wrote.

“I am totally devastated at the loss of my only son, Brandon. Brandon always thought of others before himself,” Hanson wrote. “Brandon had a heart and smile for everyone he met.”

Hanson wrote that her son was always willing to help others in need.

“Whoever did this to Brandon will never know how much you have taken from so many,” Hanson wrote. “If anyone has any information on Brandon’s murder, please, please come forward.”

Investigators are considering multiple theories but Sherwin said there is no known motive for the murder.

“From our investigation, there is nothing that we have found that indicates Mr. Arndt was involved in criminal activity at the time of his death or anything that may have led to circumstance that would put him at high risk for being a victim of homicide,” Sherwin said.

Arndt does have a conviction from February 2000 on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, for which he served jail time. Minnesota court records do not indicate any additional offenses other than a moving violation and two instances of nonsufficient funds.

“There is nothing that points to him being involved in criminal activity or other high-risk lifestyle that suggest he would be at high risk for this type of crime,” Sherwin reiterated.

Police executed a search warrant at the home. Sherwin said Monday that nothing of substance was found during the search. The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s office also responded to the scene. The death is the fifth homicide in Rochester this year.

Police ask anyone with information on the incident contact them at 507-328-6800 or at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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