Three family members are now reported to have died from beatings allegedly inflicted by a mentally ill man with a wrench in a Maple Grove home, police said Wednesday.
Eleanor D. Ekers, 34, suffered head injuries on July 8 and died two weeks later, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday.
Also subjected to fatal blows to the head in the home in the 16500 block of N. 82nd Avenue was Darlene J. Broste, 86, of Worthington, Minn. Broste died early the next morning.
A third family member, 63-year-old Linda Ekers, was similarly attacked and has died, according to the most recent posting Wednesday from her husband on CaringBridge.org.
An amended criminal complaint filed late Wednesday in District Court charges David R. Ekers, of Plymouth, with three counts of second-degree intention murder. He is the brother of Eleanor Ekers, the grandson of Broste, and the son of Linda Ekers.
David Ekers, 34, remains jailed in lieu of $1.5 million bail, with his next court appearance set for Aug. 4.
David Ekers was voluntarily committed for mental psychiatric treatment in October 2018 for six months at North Memorial Health Hospital after he was found to be suffering from schizophrenia, creating “a substantial likelihood of causing physical harm,” the court order read. “[His] expression of hallucinations and behaviors have caused fear in his family.”
He was hospitalized a year earlier after insisting that “his parents were impostors and that he had a broadcasting device implanted in his tooth,” the order continued.
According to the criminal complaint and other documents filed in the case:
Police responded to a call from Ekers’ father, John, who told them his son had severely injured family members. Police found his grandmother, mother and sister with serious head wounds.
His father told police that he and his son were downstairs working when David Ekers went upstairs. The father heard his wife scream, “David, no,” ran upstairs and saw David Ekers holding a pipe wrench. The son dropped the wrench and curled up into a ball.
In an interview with police, David Ekers admitted to trying to kill his grandmother, mother and sister. He said he didn’t harm his father because he viewed him as an ally.
He also admitted to planning the murder of the three an hour before the attacks. Charges say David Ekers told police he believed the women wanted him to return to the hospital or start taking his medication again.
John Ekers told police of his son’s schizophrenia and about “a catatonic episode” the previous day, when he was unintelligible for 2 minutes.