Herald and Journal Aug. 16, 1999

Murder victim attended HLW, local man one of the accused

By Luis Puga

The homicide investigation into the death of Randy Pool has led to five arrests and some answers in the death of the former Howard Lake-Waverly High School student.

Pool's body was discovered in the Clearwater River, Wright County, in a duffel bag on July 28.

He was positively identified on August 2 by his fingerprints, and the coroner determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation.

Pool was a resident of Hutchinson and 31 years old at the time of his death.

The death was investigated as a homicide and involves a number of departments including Hutchinson Police, McLeod and Wright County sheriffs' departments, the South- west Metro Drug Task Force, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Hutchinson Police Department held a press conference last Monday, announcing they had made five arrests in the investigation.

The department said that the five individuals allegedly took actions that contributed to the death of Pool.

In custody are Shawn Allen McCollum, 26, Minneapolis; Heather Lynn Ecklund, 20, Hutchinson; Isaac Leroy Engstrom, 21, Hutchinson; Toby Earl Johnson, 18, Howard Lake all charged with second degree murder; and Richard Patrick Ligenza, 21, Hutchinson, charged with kidnapping.

In general, the police are providing few details of the investigation as it is ongoing.

A search warrant was executed by the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension at a residence between Silver Lake and Winsted on Aug. 4 in connection with the case.

Hutchinson Police Chief Steve Madson said information is being withheld because there may be other arrests.

According to an article in the Star Tribune, Pool is believed to have been beaten for three days at his home, and then he died, after which his body was disposed of in the Clearwater River.

The article went on to explain that the motivation for the killing may have been drug related, and may have had to do with Pool providing information to the police in another investigation.


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