Mother of slain Cold Spring officer confident in investigators

11:22 AM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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Tom Decker

COLD SPRING, Minn. - The mother of Officer Tom Decker says she has confidence in the state and local investigators who are looking for her son's killer.

Rosella Decker did not want to say much by phone Monday, but made a point to tell KARE 11 she believes police are doing a "great job" and the only person she blames is her son's killer.

Her comments come on the same day the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, along with other local investigators announced a reward of up to $100,000 for information that leads to an arrest of Decker's killer.

It's been more than two weeks since the young officer was gunned down in what authorities describe as an ambush outside of Winner's Sports Bar and Grill in Cold Spring.

"People just want some answers," said Bill Loesch who works at Side Bar and Grill, which is just down the street from where the shooting happened.

"That's what I'm hoping, (It would) give a sense of ease hopefully for the town, especially over the holidays," added Sandy Notsch who has lived in Cold Spring all of her life.

She says she doesn't entirely feel safe anymore without the killer behind bars. Police let go their original suspect not long after the shooting because of a lack of evidence to charge him.

Townspeople hope the new reward will lead to an arrest and bring closure to Decker's family and the town he loved to patrol. Notsch says there is a sense of unease in the air without the killer behind bars.

"You never know, it could be someone living close by that we don't know," she said.

At a news conference Monday, state and local investigators say they've put up three billboards in the area, including in St. Cloud, publishing details about the case and the reward.

They also told reporters they're looking for a black mini-van with a loud exhaust. Witnesses saw the vehicle leaving the area around the time of the shooting.

"We have a hole in our hearts that can't be filled. Finding the killer would start the healing," said Cold Spring-Richmond Police Chief Phil Jones.

Jones said it's been difficult for his officers, but added he's proud of them because they continue to serve the people of Cold Spring and Richmond well during this difficult time.

Officials also confirmed the other officer with Decker at the time of the shooting was Greg Reiter, who remains on standard leave. They say he is cooperating with the investigation.

Authorities also continued the search for the murder weapon, a 20 gauged shotgun, in the nearby Sauk River Monday, this as the people of Cold Spring wait and wonder if a resolution will ever arrive.

"All you can really do at this point is hope for the best," said Loesch.

If you have any information about this case, no matter how small you might think it is, call 877-996-6222 or email bca.tips@state.mn.us.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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