Murder charges filed in September death of rural Winthrop man
GAYLORD, Minn. (KEYC) - Murder charges have been filed against a Winthrop man in the death of a 79-year-old man in Sibley County.
46-year-old Travis Joel Bauer is charged with 2nd-degree murder for the death of Dennis Weitzenkamp, of rural Winthrop last September.
Court documents show Weitzenkamp was found with a fatal gunshot wound in the back of his head.
According to a criminal complaint, Bauer worked with Weitzenkamp daily on his farm and ‘was considered part of the family.’
Authorities interviewed Bauer immediately after Weitzenkamp was found, when Bauer allegedly gave a false account of his whereabouts during the assumed time of Weizenkamp’s death.
Law enforcement was able to dispute Bauer’s original testimony through cell phone records. The suspect told investigators he had lied, saying he ‘wanted to keep his story straight’ according to the complaint.
Authorities collected Bauer’s clothing which tested positive for gun residue. Investigators also discovered trust documents that showed Bauer would significantly benefit from Weitzenkamp’s death. Bauer also was on the verge of losing his home due to missed payments according to the criminal complaint.
Bauer’s bail was set this morning at $1million with no conditions and $500,000 with conditions.
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