Schroetter had caught Dubay using his credit card, Briski added.
Schroetter had told post office co-workers that he was breaking off with Dubay and that she had threatened to frame him on bogus child-porn charges, investigators and a co-worker said.
On the last weekend he was seen alive, Schroetter saw his son, Nick Schroetter, 32, and gave him some personal items. He told his son he was changing his will and beneficiaries and mentioned he’d been threatened, but downplayed it.
When he missed his Thursday morning appointment with St. Paul attorney Laura Hage, she spent the day trying to reach him on his cellphone.
The next day, Hage called his house. Dubay answered. She said Schroetter wasn’t there. The attorney told her to report him missing or she would. Dubay called police.
“She claims that she slept in the basement that night and heard him up in the kitchen getting ready at 6 a.m. and then he left,” Briske said. “She had told us that he had planned on doing some northern Minnesota casino junket, and she assumed that he was gone doing that.”
His car, however, was seen that afternoon in his driveway, one of many inconsistencies that investigators noted.
Finding his car
Co-workers knew something was wrong when Schroetter didn’t return after his day off. “He never missed a day,” Briski said. “He was ex-military, always on time.”
On the evening of March 1, 2009, police found Schroetter’s car a couple blocks from the Post Office branch on Arlington Avenue near Rice Street where he worked. The red Chrysler Crossfire was left with its doors unlocked — something his family said he wouldn’t do — in a lot on Jackson Street at Timberlake Road.
Investigators want to talk with anyone who saw such a vehicle in that area or who saw a white Chrysler 300, the model of car driven by Jackie Dubay.
On March 5, 2009, Jay Dubay picked up a $252 trunk liner from a car dealer, replacing one in Jackie’s car days before a police search, Wold and Briski said. Two spots of Schroetter’s blood remained in the scrubbed trunk, they said.
Wold said that Jackie Dubay gave a “lame” excuse that Schroeder cut himself while changing lights but that one blood spot was deep inside the trunk.
From around Feb 26 until March 5, 2009, when St. Anthony police interviewed them, the siblings exchanged 250 to 300 texts and numerous calls, but apparently didn’t text before or after that, Wold said.
Jay Dubay did not return a reporter’s calls.
Nick Schroetter and his mother, Bonnie Schroetter, who divorced Hal in 2000, pray for a break in the case.
“It’s an open wound,” Bonnie Schroetter said, adding that Hal deserves a military burial at Fort Snelling. “And it can’t close because you know that they’re out there, and they need to be held accountable.”