WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published May 21, 2011, 12:17 PM

Osakis, MN, Woman Killed in Her Home; Suspect at Large

On Friday, May 20, after her lunch break, Fortenberry returned home and interrupted a burglary in progress. She was assaulted and died from blunt force trauma, according to preliminary autopsy results.

By: Amy Chaffins, Forum Communications

Todd County Sheriff Peter Mikkelson has released a detailed list of items taken from the home where Diane Fortenberry, 51, was killed.

On Friday, May 20, after her lunch break, Fortenberry returned home and interrupted a burglary in progress.

She was assaulted and died from blunt force trauma, according to preliminary autopsy results.

Today, Mikkelson provided media with the of items taken in the burglary: a large amount of collector coins and currency including rolls of Susan B. Anthony or Eisenhower silver dollars, buffalo nickels, wheat pennies, indian head coins, $5 silver coins, $2 bills and silver C notes $100 bills; 32 inch Westinghouse flat screen TV; Vexilar depth finder; DVD player with surround sound; HP Pavillion laptop computer; jewelry box containing a sapphire ring, ruby ring, Black Hills gold jewelry and Montana silver jewelry items; and an Xbox video game system.

The Fortenberry home is located along County Road 10, on the northwest side of Lake Osakis in Gordon Township in Todd County, just a quarter mile from the Douglas County line. The home is in a new development called, "White Tail Ridge." County Road 10 is a fairly busy road and the Fortenberry home is in an open field, close to the road.

If you have seen anything suspicious in the area or you have information related to this case, call the Todd County Sheriff's Office at 320-732-2157 or 800-794-5733.

Fortenberry's son found her when he returned home from work around 4:40 p.m. on Friday. She was transported to Long Prairie Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

During a press conference Saturday, Mikkelson said, "This is very concerning to our community. It's a tragic event and our condolences go out to the family."

No arrests have been made in connection with the murder.

At this point, the sheriff is asking for the community's help.

"We urge anyone in the area who may have seen anything unusual to contact us," Mikkelson said. "We like to think this is a really safe community but with the situation the way that it is, we always need to be vigilant and aware of what's going on around us."

The sheriff said if anyone in the area has seen anything out of the ordinary during the last week, they should contact authorities.

"You know what's normal in your neighborhood. If someone has come to your door asking for directions or offering tree cutting services or selling something, give us a call," Mikkelson said. "Be vigilant and report anything suspicious."

There are many seasonal properties in the area where Fortenberry was killed. Mikkelson advised nearby property owners to check their neighbor's cabins and report anything suspicious.

Saturday morning, searchers were on horseback along County Road 10 assisting with the investigation looking for any evidence possible related to the crime scene. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Douglas County Sheriff's Office are assisting with the investigation.

Fortenberry is survived by her husband and two sons.

According to Mikkelson, Fortenberry grew up in the area and moved back to Osakis about three years ago.

The last homicide in Todd County happened in 2006.

Tags: