Chaska, Minn. (WCCO) – Investigators in Carver County are looking for clues that will help them answer the mystery of who robbed and killed a retired farmer.
Earl Arthur Olander, 90, was a bachelor who lived alone in his farmhouse along a gravel road south of East Union.
He was found dead Saturday evening, with his hands bound, after relatives repeatedly tried getting in touch with the elderly man by telephone.
Neighbors describe Olander as the nicest, kindest, most gentle man you’d ever meet. Sometime between Friday and Saturday, he became the target of a brutal assault that ended his life.
The morning paper is still in the roadside box where Olander spent much of his life. The retired farmer raised crops and cattle on his farm, which he later leased out to other farmers.
A shocked neighbor, Jerry Scott, called Olander “the most lovable man around.”
“He didn’t have an enemy in the world,” Scott said.
Scott had the unfortunate job of discovering the crime scene. A concerned relative had called and asked if Scott could drive over and check on his neighbor, who is also his wife’s cousin.
Scott found him dead on the living room floor.
“His bedroom was all thrown around, and I went and got out of there because somebody had been robbing it,” Scott said. “I ran into him [Olander] — he was lying on the floor.”
Investigators say the house had been ransacked. Olander’s hands were bound, and he’d been brutally assaulted.
Neighbor Bob Davis is outraged and angry at such a heinous act in this peaceful countryside.
“Why would you have to bind somebody that age?” he asked.
Olander was an active member of the East Union Lutheran Church and beloved by his neighbors.
“I just hope they catch them,” Scott said. “That man didn’t deserve anything like that.”
Investigators are saying very little about a suspect or suspects in the case. While they say the home was ransacked, they won’t say what, if anything, was taken from the house.
A cash reward for information about the case could be announced on Tuesday.
Anyone with information is asked to immediately call the Carver County Sheriff’s Office at 952-361-1224 or after hours at 952-361-1231. You can also use the sheriff’s office website here. Crime Stoppers of Minnesota is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and charges. You can go to www.crimestoppersmn.org or call 1-800-222-8477.