A woman found barely alive last week at a Wright County park has died, and four arrests were made Sunday morning near the Canadian border during an operation involving numerous agencies and snipers, authorities said Sunday.
Justin M. Jensen, 28, of Maple Lake, was booked into the Koochiching County jail on a drug possession allegation, according to the jail log. Also arrested about 6:40 a.m. were Natasha L. Brandenburger, 33, of Buffalo, and two other people.
The four were arrested at a home west of Pelland Junction, just south of the U.S.-Canadian border, according to the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition, a fifth suspect was arrested Sunday morning in Staples, Minn., during a traffic stop, said Wright County Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Hoffman.
While the captain declined to elaborate on the 26-year-old Buffalo man’s possible role in the death of 19-year-old Cheyenne L. Clough of Buffalo, the Todd County jail log notes he was booked on suspicion of murder.
Jensen and Brandenburger have been wanted for questioning since last week in connection with Clough’s assault. Hoffman said Clough was acquainted with Jensen and Brandenburger before the assault.
A Wright County investigator was in Koochiching County on Sunday working to determine what role the four may have had in the killing.
A host of agencies assisted the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office in the capture of the four, among them the International Falls Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the State Patrol and a SWAT team from nearby Beltrami County.
At one point, an officer was heard on law enforcement scanners captured by mnpoliceclips.com alerting everyone involved about authorities “dropping two snipers in the area; just be aware.”
While unsure whether any of the suspects were attempting to flee the country, Hoffman said, “they were definitely close to Canada.”
Still unaccounted for is a car associated with Jensen and Brandenburger. Authorities are looking for a 2008 white or cream-colored Honda Accord. The vehicle was last seen to have Minnesota license plates 307LCX.
On Wednesday, a 911 call about 8:10 a.m. sent Montrose Fire Department personnel and sheriff’s deputies to the entrance of Crow Springs Park in Franklin Township, where Clough was found unresponsive on the ground, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Clough, the mother of a 3-year-old son, was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Buffalo before being transferred to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.
Authorities have declined to disclose Clough’s injuries or how they were inflicted, other than to say she had obvious signs of trauma to her body.
Before her discovery at the park entrance, Clough was last seen at a residence in the 200 block of Birch Avenue NW. in Maple Lake, according to the Sheriff’s Office.