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Willmar woman murdered at rural residence, sheriff seeking information

A Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office vehicle is parked in the driveway Tuesday at a residence along the 3000 block of East Highway 12, just outside of the city limits of Willmar. The body of 79-year-old Lila Warwick, top left, was discovered at the home the day prior. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

WILLMAR - A 79-year-old Willmar woman was found murdered Monday in her residence.

According to Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog, deputies responding to a welfare check found the body of Lila Warwick a little after 5 p.m. Monday at her residence along the 3000 block of East Highway 12, just outside of the city limits of Willmar.

The State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's mobile crime lab was called to the scene, where officials determined that the death was a homicide.

Hartog said Tuesday afternoon that the details of the death, including how Warwick died and the nature of the incident, were not being released as releasing the information could jeopardize the on-going investigation.

Law enforcement officials do not believe the general public is in danger, Hartog said.

Warwick, who lived alone, was a longtime member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Willmar, according to Greg Enterline, pastor of the congregation. He said the congregation was mourning her passing and praying for her family.

"Her faith was evident in both her words and her deeds," Enterline said. "We will miss her. Her faith in her savior was very clear."

There have been no arrests in the case, which remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office dispatch center at 320-235-1260. Callers with information will be directed to the investigators on the case, Hartog said.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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