When people were around Eddie Sole, they were usually laughing, his daughter remembers. He had a big heart and would help anybody.
So the way he died, Javonne Flowers said Sunday, is impossible to comprehend.
Sole, 58, was identified Sunday as the man killed and stuffed in a freezer in his Shorewood home last month. According to authorities, he was trying to to leave a relationship with the woman charged in his killing. Jetaun Wheeler, 29, remains in jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
“For her to do this just because he was leaving?” Flowers said. “I’m still in denial.”
The cause of Sole’s death is undetermined pending further investigation, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office. Murder charges against Wheeler said she beat him with a closet rod before wrapping him in plastic and duct tape and hiding the body in a freezer in the garage. Authorities believe he was killed around Aug. 1, but his body wasn’t found for weeks.
Family members in Chicago suspected something was wrong in early August because Sole, who loved talking on the phone, hadn’t been in touch for several days, according to a recent story in the Chicago Sun-Times. Sole’s brother, Phillip Sole, drove from Chicago to Minnesota on Aug. 12 to ask Wheeler where his brother was.
“She said he took a bus back to Chicago two or three weeks ago,” Phillip Sole told the Sun-Times. He also said Wheeler tried to flee in her car after he told her he’d notified police because he doubted her story.
“I blocked her garage with my truck,” Phillip Sole told the Chicago paper. Police started their investigation and Phillip Sole, after filing a missing persons report, returned home.
Several weeks before he went missing, Eddie Sole had told relatives that Wheeler had attacked him, scratching his head and body with her fingernails, said Flowers.
“She scratched him up bad,” she said.
Sole, who was born in Chicago and worked as a mechanic, began dating Wheeler in Chicago and moved to the Twin Cities to be with her less than two years ago.
When he attended a recent graduation of a relative in Chicago, Flowers said she could hear Wheeler screaming at him over the telephone. She kept checking up on him, telling him she was angry that he wasn’t home, said Flowers.
Wheeler told authorities that Sole had taken the bus back to Chicago. But a search of the home Aug. 21 turned up a piece of bloody carpeting under Wheeler’s mattress.
A spatter of blood led investigators to the garage, where they found a newly purchased freezer with Sole’s body inside. He was wearing bloody clothes, according the court documents. He had significant blunt-force trauma to his head. The closet rod in Wheeler’s bedroom was missing.
Flowers said a funeral for Sole, who had 10 children and more than 50 grandchildren, will be held Saturday. “My dad is gone.”