Army Vet Richard Melvin Peterson Arrested for Murder of Amanda Jo Vangrinsven in Isanti

On Aug. 5, Amanda Jo Vangrinsven disappeared.

That evening, Vangrinsven, 32, was seen consuming with Richard Melvin Peterson, 37, on the Isanti, Minnesota VFW corridor the place she tended bar, and the place Peterson reportedly served in a “management place.” However Vangrinsven had had an excessive amount of to drink, according to an unsealed search warrant obtained by The Daily Beast, and Peterson instructed her associates he would drive her house.

As a substitute, Peterson and Vangrinsven wound up at The Dugout Bar and Grill, about quarter-hour away. Witnesses would later inform police that Vangrinsven appeared “noticeably intoxicated.”

“Amanda and Rick mutually confirmed a public show of affections as they kissed each other, sat shut to 1 one other, whereas Amanda rubbed Rick’s leg and the within of his thigh and whereas Rick rubbed Amanda’s again underneath her shirt and put his fingers down Amanda’s pants touching her buttocks together with his hand,” the warrant states. Quite a few staff provided to drive her again to her home. Nonetheless, Peterson—who’s married— allegedly insisted he would do it, which reportedly left others uneasy. When Vangrinsven failed to indicate up for work the morning of Aug. 6, her co-workers known as police.

On Aug. 7, cops and volunteers started to grid-search the encircling space for any indicators of Vangrinsven, with no luck. However investigators quickly turned suspicious of Peterson, who gave police conflicting tales in regards to the evening in query. Three days later, a multiagency activity drive descended on a 20-acre property owned by Peterson, in line with the warrant, which cites the VFW supervisor as saying Peterson as being inclined to “temper swings when he drinks.”

“Quite a few areas of floor had been disturbed the day after Amanda’s disappearance,” it explains, including that Peterson instructed investigators to “examine the pond.”

“Lieutenant McCarty continued to unearth the damaged sod and floor and found two white sneakers,” states the warrant, which describes a workforce effort between native legislation enforcement, the FBI, and the Minnesota Bureau of Prison Apprehension. They “requested that earth be excavated across the sneakers to verify a physique existed,” the warrant explains. “In doing so, the sneakers had been connected to ft which had been connected to leg displaying jean shorts and clothes matching Amanda’s. The continued excavation across the physique led to the visible affirmation that the physique was the particular person of Amanda Vangrinsven.”

Peterson’s spouse Anna instructed police that “she was second guessing her husband and did not know if she was protected,” the warrant states. “She additionally instructed me she did not know if Rick can be protected from himself.”

Peterson swiftly checked himself right into a Veterans Affairs psychiatric facility in St. Cloud, roughly an hour’s drive away. Within the meantime, a preliminary examination by the medical expert’s workplace of Vangrinsven’s physique revealed “a projectile, in keeping with a bullet, lodged within the cranium.” Police seized from Peterson’s house, amongst different issues, a number of firearms, a John Deere backhoe, numerous electronics, a pocket book utilized by Peterson, and “tarps and canvas which may very well be used to assist in overlaying or transferring a human physique.”

On Tuesday, he was arrested on a probable cause murder hold. He has not but been formally charged.

Peterson’s spouse, who’s licensed as a registered nurse in line with public data, didn’t reply to The Every day Beast’s requests for remark, however issued a press release to media shops that mentioned, “My heartfelt sympathy and prayers exit to Amanda’s household and associates. The person who she was final seen with is now not locally and is being held in a locked psychological well being facility. I’m actively cooperating and can proceed to cooperate with all law-enforcement companies. I please request privateness for my household and myself.”

An worker who answered the cellphone at Isanti VFW Submit 2735, the place Peterson labored, declined to remark. A hostess at The Dugout instructed The Every day Beast that her boss instructed the employees to not say something in regards to the case, however mentioned, “Proper now, our ideas are with the household,” rapidly including, “The sufferer’s household.”

A GoFundMe drive to boost cash for the search brought in more than $10,000.

The Vangrinsven household on Tuesday issued a press release, saying, “There isn’t a strategy to know the proper strategy to navigate such surprising and horrific occasions. The grief is overwhelming and the unanswered questions and inflow of knowledge much more so. Our gratitude can’t be expressed sufficient and our silence to media and social media just isn’t attributable to a scarcity of appreciation however quite a drive to make sure that we by no means intrude with what we hope will carry solutions and justice. We do not have solutions. And we are going to by no means have the reply we hoped to have; that she was discovered alive… We would like solutions. We would like justice. We would like the one who did this to Amanda be held to the very best degree of accountability.”

Vangrinsven’s household, Isanti County Sheriff Chris Caulk, and Isanti Police Chief Travis Muyres didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark, and authorities haven’t revealed a doable motive. Different legislation enforcement companies helping with the investigation embrace the Anoka County Sheriff’s Workplace and the Minnesota Division of Pure Assets.

Peterson stays in custody, according to jail records. He doesn’t have a lawyer listed in court docket filings, and was unable to be reached for remark. | Military Vet Richard Melvin Peterson Arrested for Homicide of Amanda Jo Vangrinsven in Isanti


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