Glenwood, Minn., hotel search comes up empty in investigation of Granite Falls homicide
By Gretchen Schlosser and Tim Douglass
GLENWOOD — A tip to law enforcement led to a search of a Glenwood hotel Thursday afternoon, but authorities did not find the "person of interest" they have been seeking in a Granite Falls homicide and attempted homicide.
The search for Andrew Joseph Dikken, 28, of Granite Falls, began Monday after the shooting death of Kara Ann Monson, 26, in her Granite Falls home. Dikken has not been called a suspect, but authorities have warned the public not to approach him as he may be armed and dangerous.
Yellow Medicine County Sheriff Bill Flaten said in a message about 5 p.m. Thursday that Dikken was not in custody and that investigators were following all leads received in the case.
The second victim in the shooting, Christopher Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls, remains at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis where he is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner said Monson died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Multiple law enforcement agencies conducted a search of a Glenwood hotel Thursday, but Dikken was not found.
A 911 call to the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff's Office resulted in the search of the America's Best Value Inn, a hotel located on state Highway 28 in Glenwood. The tip, deemed credible by law enforcement, described a man matching Dikken's description.
Agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Glenwood Police Department, Pope County Sheriff's Office and the West Central Minnesota SWAT team conducted a full search of the hotel.
No one matching Dikken's description was found at the hotel, according to Glenwood Police Chief Dale Danter.
"Once it was deemed a credible report, we took it seriously and followed up on it," Danter told the Pope County Tribune Thursday afternoon.
The hotel search was executed at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday and was completed within about 45 minutes.
The Glenwood search on Thursday follows Wednesday's search by law enforcement officers from Renville County, Redwood County, Yellow Medicine County, the State Patrol, state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and state Department of Natural Resources for Dikken along the Minnesota River between Sacred Heart and Belview.
The search of that area was launched after Dikken's 1996 brown GMC Sierra pickup — which had been the subject of numerous alerts from law enforcement seeking the public's help finding Dikken — had been located five miles north of Belview.
Authorities have been searching for Dikken since the shooting, which was reported around 3:30 a.m. Monday in the 1100 block of Prentice Street in Granite Falls where Monson lived. Monson's 5-year-old daughter was not at the home.
The funeral for Monson has been set for Tuesday at Granite Falls Lutheran Church.
According to a Thursday post on the Caring Bridge website for Panitzke, he was undergoing tests and was scheduled for another surgery on his injured arm.
According to prior posts, Panitzke was shot in the left foot, arm and the chest and has had surgery to repair his wounds and to graft a vein into his arm to repair damage to the limb. He was first taken by ambulance to Granite Falls Hospital and then was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis for treatment.
Law enforcement officials have said very little about the investigation or the search for Dikken, aside from issuing numerous pleas to the public to contact law enforcement if Dikken is spotted.
Friends and family of Monson have launched "R.I.P. Kara," an open Facebook page specifically to share information to assist in tracking down Dikken — his physical characteristics, habits and mannerisms, and multiple photos of him.
Dikken is described by law enforcement as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds and he has brown hair and brown eyes. They continue to say he may be armed and dangerous and that he should not be approached.
Anyone with information about Dikken's location is asked to contact the Granite Falls Police Department, the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff's Office, or call 911.
Tim Douglass of the Pope County Tribune contributed to this story.