Granite Falls double murder suspect charged

9:32 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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GRANITE FALLS, Minn. - Yellow Medicine County filed two counts of second degree murder charges against Andrew Dikken, for the Sept. 2 shootings of his ex-girlfriend, Kara Monson, and her new boyfriend, Christopher Panitzke. 

Dikken will appear in court at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Yellow Medicine County courthouse in Granite Falls. 

"Last night his capture is the first step toward closure for our family, Chris's family and the Dikken family," said Eric Monson, Kara's Monson's first cousin. 

Dikken alluded authorities for nearly three weeks until his own family members turned him in to Renville County authorities Tuesday night. 

Yellow Medicine County Sheriff Bill Flaten said he cannot yet share details of where Dikken was during that time, but said those family members have cooperated with the investigation since the beginning.

"It's taken its toll on us. We are both small agencies. Everybody was intimately involved in this and it was a relief to say the least that he was in custody. Put a lot of people's minds at ease here in the community," said Sheriff Flaten. 

Panitzke died a week after the shooting. Court records show just after the shooting, and at the hospital, he repeatedly identified Dikken to police as the gunman who shot them as they slept in bed. 

Panitzke also told authorities Dikken did not appear to be in any hurry to leave the scene of the shooting and walked around the house afterwards. 

The investigation also showed one of Dikken's relatives reported a stolen gun in the days before the shooting. 

Documents show bullets found at the scene and removed from the victims matched the caliber and description of the gun. 

The criminal complaint says Monson received a text from Dikken hours before the shooting, and other family members received threatening text messages from him in the same time frame. 

The Monson family hopes the tragedy sheds light for other women leaving troubled relationships. 

"We don't know if she felt concerned for her life, but she at least felt concerned for her safety. For women in her situation, talk to someone about your situation, tell police. And don't be afraid," said Eric Monson. 

Monson and Dikken broke up last April. She recently began dating Panitzke. 

The Monson family plans to follow the court process, beginning with Dikken's 10 a.m. appearance Wednesday.

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