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Authorities seek new tips in 5-year-old death investigation

Robert “Bob” Verdon, 56, of Cosmos, was found dead five years ago. The Renville County Sheriff’s Office recovered Verdon's car on 500th Street in rural Renville County. Submitted1 / 2
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OLIVIA — As the years have gone by, new leads about the death of 56-year-old Cosmos man Robert "Bob" Verdon have dwindled.

Renville County investigators aren't ready to let the case go cold.

"We think that somebody knows something," Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable said. He has put out a formal call to the public for new information related to Verdon's death.

Five years ago this month, a farmer discovered Verdon's body in a cornfield just south of Cosmos.

Verdon had been reported missing a month earlier. He left his home to visit an acquaintance in a neighboring city, and never arrived.

The next day, the Renville County Sheriff's Office recovered his car on 500th Street in rural Renville County.

After Verdon's body was found, an autopsy was performed, and Hable said the cause of death was undetermined. That means officials cannot rule out foul play.

"We're leaving no stone unturned," Hable said. "We're investigating this as thoroughly as possible."

Part of that is reaching out to the public once again for clues, after five years of investigating, with the hope of shaking loose some new information.

The local Renville County Crime Stoppers is offering a new reward: a commitment of $5,000, through October 2017, for credible information that aids law enforcement with the investigation.

"That's a huge step by those folks, I think," Hable said. "We're looking for any previously unreported information, no matter how insignificant it may seem."

Anyone with information about the case should call 320-523-1161.

Crime Stoppers is also accepting anonymous tips, at 1-800-720-3780, or at the "Report a Crime" link on the Renville County Sheriff's Office website.

In a message to media, Hable wrote that Verdon's family has been very involved in the investigation into the death of their son, brother, uncle, grandfather and stepfather.

Now, he wrote, they just want closure.