Stearns County – Death Investigation

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On Monday, December 17, 2018, at approximately 3:06 p.m., the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a call about a burned deceased male in a field in the 10600 block of River Street in Brockway Township.

According to Sheriff Don Gudmundson, Edwin Opatz, 86, of Rice, was found deceased in a burned field in this area. The preliminary investigation revealed Opatz was burning grass pastureland earlier on December 17, 2018. Opatz’s remains were sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

St. Stephen Fire and Rescue along with Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the scene.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office are working with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine an exact cause of death.

This investigation is ongoing.

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