A 42-year-old suspect has been charged with murder nearly a year after he allegedly shot a man in the head inside a motor home in east-central Minnesota, where the body remained until it was discovered frozen many weeks later.

David D. Pangerl, 42, of Braham, Minn., was charged Monday in Pine County District Court with second-degree murder in connection with the death on or about Jan. 23 of 61-year-old Scott A. Ness.

Ness' body was found in the motor home on March 2 in Royalton Township on Royal Heights Lane, roughly 11 miles southwest of Pine City.

Law enforcement officers arrested Pangerl in nearby Kanabec County on Friday. He remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail ahead of a court appearance Monday. A message was left with his attorney Wednesday seeking a response to the allegations.

According to the criminal complaint:

One of the last people to see Ness alive was a propane delivery worker, who spoke with him during a visit to the motor home on Jan. 23.

On March 2, deputies responding to a 911 call went to the motor home and found Ness' body on the floor. "It was clear that he had been deceased for some time, and the body was frozen," the complaint read. An autopsy revealed that Ness had been shot in the head.

A neighbor told a sheriff's investigator that Ness had been "mixed up with some criminal activity and has upset some people over the years," according to the complaint.

Law enforcement interviewed a woman who said Ness had sexually assaulted her in late December or early January. Others who spoke with investigators implicated Pangerl, who said he intended to shoot Ness in the head for the alleged sexual assault.

One day before his arrest, Pangerl broke into a home in the middle of the night in the Pine County town of Henriette, according to separate felony charges. Pangerl pointed a gun at a couple, grabbed the woman by the throat and demanded that he be given the keys and title for a vehicle he had sold them. He took the title and left, the charges said.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482