Former Minnesota couple found dead on Philippines farm
SOUTH ST. PAUL -- A former South St. Paul couple has been killed in the central Philippines in a case linked to a robbery at their organic farm, according to news reports and relatives of the victims.
SOUTH ST. PAUL - A former South St. Paul couple has been killed in the central Philippines in a case linked to a robbery at their organic farm, according to news reports and relatives of the victims.
The bodies of 58-year-old Kevin Fleischauer, who grew up in South St. Paul, and his wife, Lolly, 60, were found this week in a well near their home in Murcia in the province of Negros Occidental. They had been missing for about two weeks, prompting members of their church to scour the couple’s property Sunday.
Church members found Kevin Fleischauer’s body in the well Sunday, along with signs of a robbery. Authorities discovered Lolly Fleischauer’s body the next day.
Authorities have since arrested four suspects who were employed as laborers at the couple’s farm and have admitted to robbing and killing the couple, according to a report Tuesday on the Philippines’ news website Rappler.com.
Police are preparing robbery and homicide charges against the suspects, who range from 17 to 25 years old.
The couple met while Kevin was in the Navy and stationed at Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines, said his brother Dennis Fleischauer of Stillwater. Lolly grew up in the Philippines, where the couple married.
They moved to South St. Paul after Kevin’s four-year stint in the Navy. They bought a house along Second Avenue South and raised their only child, a daughter.
Kevin made a living by buying properties and renting them out, his brother said.
In 1999, the couple returned to the Philippines. They ran an organic farm on 3 acres of land, growing vegetables and teaching agriculture “to anybody who would listen,” Fleischauer said.
“Kevin just liked the idea of farming and living there,” he said.
In March, the couple returned to Minnesota to be closer to their daughter, Sheila Utech, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. The Hudson, Wis., resident died June 2 at age 37.
The Fleischauers returned to the Philippines in late June with a plan to sell their land and return to the United States, said Kevin Fleischauer’s sister, Rozanne Harrison.
“They had a grandson here they didn’t know too well and wanted to build on the relationship,” Harrison said. “Lolly thought she had missed out on too much. So they were so excited that they had reached that point to come back home.”