St. Paul police are investigating two unsolved homicides in the city’s North End neighborhood that occurred within blocks of each other.
Authorities identified Andrew J. Rehberger, 25, Wednesday as the man found dead Sunday inside a home at 60 Rose Avenue West. They announced later that a 65-year-old man, Clifford E. Sykes, was found dead Monday about two blocks away in his home at 12 Geranium Avenue E.
“Right now, we don’t know whether or not they’re linked,” spokesman Steve Linders said of the cases.
There have been no arrests in the cases, the motives remain under investigation and police have not said exactly how either man died. Sgt. Mike Ernster, a police spokesman, said Monday that Rehberger suffered a “brutal” head injury. Linders said that Sykes suffered “physical trauma.”
“…We don’t have a lot go on,” Linders said of Sykes’ homicide.
Police were called to Sykes’ home about 2 p.m. Monday and found him dead inside. An examination by the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office revealed Wednesday that the cause of death was homicide, Linders said, adding that he couldn’t reveal more because of the active investigation, which includes toxicology testing.
Dani Hoffman, who lives nearby, said Sykes was a good neighbor who mostly kept to himself but had several visitors. Two to three men in their twenties stopped by Sykes’ house for about 10 minutes each evening starting around 8 or 9 p.m., she said.
“He had a lot of traffic,” she said.
Hoffman said she didn’t know why the people were stopping by, but said, “It wasn’t like, ‘I’m coming to visit.’ ”
Sykes was home most of the time, she said.
“He just seemed like a nice person,” Hoffman said. “He wouldn’t hurt anybody.”
There were just as few answers in Rehberger’s death, which shocked those who knew him.
“Why would anyone target Andrew?” said his best friend of 22 years, Christopher Huffman. “Thinking that anyone would harm Andrew, who just wanted to be happy and make other people happy, I’m at a loss for words.”
Rehberger grew up in St. Paul the youngest of four children. He went to Como Park Senior High School and studied at St. Paul Technical College.
Huffman said Rehberger had a passion for heavy metal, and started a small record label, Tridroid Records, in 2012. Rehberger championed bands from all over the world, and took a special interest in local bands, Huffman said. He sold the label recently, but couldn’t stay away and started another label, Starwolf Records.
Rehberger also took an interest in photography, and recently completed his first couples portrait shoot.
“He would believe in someone enough to support them” morally and financially, Huffman said. “It’s a blow to everyone losing him, especially in this manner.”
Rehberger was found about 10:30 p.m. Sunday. He was renting a room in the house. Two other people were home when police responded to the scene.
Anyone with information about the cases can call 651-266-5650.