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Leads being followed in Willmar, Minn., homicide

WILLMAR - Investigators from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are continuing to follow up on leads as part of their investigation into who killed Lila Warwick in her home along the east side of Willmar.

Warwick, 79, was found deceased Monday by sheriff's deputies responding to a welfare check on the woman, who lived alone along the 3000 block of East Highway 12. The State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's mobile crime lab was called to the scene, where officials determined that the death was a homicide.

Sheriff Dan Hartog said Wednesday that investigators are continuing to ask the public for any information they have about the crime. Specifically, he asked anyone with knowledge about who Warwick had contact or, potentially, conflict with to report that information to the Sheriff's Office by calling 320-235-1260.

The Sheriff's Office is not releasing details of the death, as the investigation is "very much" ongoing, Hartog said.

Investigators continue to believe that the general public is not in danger.

"We have no information right now in regards to any type of danger," Hartog said.

At the same time, he reminded citizens to be aware of their personal safety and be proactive about knowing who is around them and their property. Any suspicious activity should be reported to law enforcement, he said.

According to her obituary, Warwick moved to Willmar with her late husband, Robert, and children, Kent and Cheri, in 1969. She worked for Willmar Manufacturing until retiring in 1998.

Warwick was very active with her parish, Redeemer Lutheran Church of Willmar, where she served as a Sunday school teacher, financial secretary, preschool volunteer and on the board of evangelism.

"Her faith was clearly evident in her life and deeds," Greg Enterline, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, said. "She will be very sorely missed by Redeemer."

Enterline said Warwick, who was a long-time member of the church, was a loving, caring person, sentiments echoed by her best friend and hairdresser Carolyn Sundin, owner of The Hair Keeper of Willmar.

"I was with her every day," Sundin said. "I want her to be remembered for her loving and caring heart, concern for everyone in the world and love of humanity."

Sundin said she's going to miss Warwick's friendship most.

"She was there any time anyone needed her," Sundin said. "Everyone loved her. She was at all my family get-togethers. I just can't say enough good things about her."

Lynae Dickerson, a stylist at The Hair Keeper, said Warwick had a big heart.

"People always say someone is their rock, and that was Lila," Dickerson said. "She was not a pretend person. She was very real and very supportive."

Sundin said everyone already knows how "wonderful" Warwick was, but that's how she wants her to be remembered.

"She was like a magnet," Sundin said. "She drew people to her. Everyone wanted to be around her because she was so wonderful."

Funeral services for Warwick are pending with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home of Willmar.