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Granite Falls homicide suspect in custody after family members bring him in

GRANITE FALLS – The suspect wanted in the double homicide in Granite Falls is in custody after family members brought him to the Renville County Sheriff’s Office in Olivia on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Andrew Dikken, 28, of Granite Falls, formerly of Renville, was subsequently transported to Granite Falls, where he is in custody in the Yellow Medicine County Jail pending his arraignment in district court, according to Sheriff Bill Flaten of Yellow Medicine County.

Authorities had been searching for Dikken since the Sept. 2 shooting of Kara Monson, 26, and Chris Panitzke, 28, in Monson’s home in Granite Falls. Monson died at the scene, and Panitzke died Sept. 8 at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Dikken was brought to the Renville County Sheriff’s Office around 3 p.m. Tuesday by family members who had been cooperating with investigators, according to the BCA.

Kara Monson’s surviving family members learned at about 8 p.m. Tuesday that Dikken had been apprehended. “We are greatly relieved to hear of the news. We hope the family of Christopher Panitzke and the Granite Falls community share in our great feeling of relief over Andrew Dikken’s capture,’’ said Eric Monson, a first cousin of Kara Monson, on behalf of the family.

Eric Monson said Dikken's apprehension has allowed family members to feel safe for the first time since the murder. He said the family is now hoping to see justice served in the senseless and unwarranted killing of Kara and Christopher. “His capture is one step toward closure, justice being carried out will be the final.”

The Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office and Granite Falls Police Department will continue their investigation of the homicides with assistance from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The agencies were also assisted by officers from other law enforcement offices in conducting searches for Dikken in the area along the Minnesota River where his vehicle had been discovered after the homicide. The vehicle had been found in a gravel pit off of Redwood County Road 7 about five miles north of Belview.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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