Monday: 3 women slain in Mounds View home

  • Article by: LORA PABST , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 28, 2008 - 11:50 AM

An elderly woman and her two daughters were found in different rooms. A man who police said was trying to kill himself was arrested in Minneapolis in connection with the case.

An elderly woman and her two daughters were discovered slain inside their Mounds View home Monday, and a man who police say was trying to kill himself was arrested in Minneapolis in connection with the case several hours later.

Two of the bodies were discovered shortly after 12:30 p.m. when a relative who had been unable to reach the women called police. The third body was found about 8 p.m. after authorities conducted a more thorough search of the home. Each was found in a different room.

Late Monday, barricades surrounded several houses near the crime scene in the 5100 block of Sunnyside Road, and Mounds View Police Chief Mike Sommer described the scene inside as violent.

The women who lived in the home were Jolyn Vigen, 75, and her daughters Angela Vigen, 40, and Jennifer Vigen, 35, according to neighbors, a database of property records and city records. Jennifer Vigen was described in a newsletter from the Thief River Falls school district as having Moyamoya syndrome, a rare condition that could slow the flow of blood to the brain and cause strokes. She was being cared for by her mother and sister after multiple medical procedures and had graduated from the district in 1993.

Suspect tried to kill himself

While investigators were still processing the Mounds View house Monday evening, Minneapolis police were called to an apartment in the 3000 block of N. 3rd St. on a report that a man was threatening to kill himself because he had committed a crime in another city, said Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia. When officers arrived and entered the apartment, they found a man with a knife inside the back bedroom.

The suspect barricaded himself in the corner and was threatening to kill himself and hurt the officers. The officers used a Taser on him once, but he wouldn't let go of the knife and began to stab himself in the chest. Police used the weapon again and then five or six officers had to wrestle the knife away.

As he was handcuffed and being led out of the building, he tried to jump off a third-floor railing. The man, who has not been identified, was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale for treatment of the self-inflicted stab wounds, Garcia said. He is expected to recover.

Members of the Mounds View Police Department and agents of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension had been tracking the man from Mounds View and arrived at the Minneapolis apartment around the same time as Minneapolis police. The Minneapolis officers did not immediately know that the man was the suspect in the triple slaying.

"It is believed that the suspect was an acquaintance of the victims," Sommer said. "But the details of the relationships are unclear."

City records indicate that the family moved from Thief River Falls to Mounds View 10 years ago. Neighbor Dale Rosenthal said the three women kept mostly to themselves. He said he only saw Jolyn outside of the home a few times. She had her groceries delivered and "they didn't venture out a whole lot," he said.

Rosenthal said Angela Vigen had a boyfriend who had lived in the house for less than a year, but he did not know the man's name.

Lora Pabst • 612-673-4628

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