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St. Croix, Pierce authorities ask public's help to connect dots in Michigan homicide; accused allegedly stole U.S. Army pickup from Eau Galle Rec Area

UPDATE: St. Croix and Pierce County sheriff's investigators are seeking help from the public in the Spring Valley area to locate an abandoned vehicle thought to have been involved in a Michigan homicide.

Spring Valley Police Chief John DuBois said Wednesday morning a lock was cut off the main gate at the U.S. Army Corps property at the Eau Galle Recreation Area near Spring Valley sometime between Friday, Nov. 13 and Monday, Nov. 16. There was evidence of forced entry to the office and maintenance buildings. A government pickup truck was stolen from the property, which is locked after hours.

"It appears the suspect was looking for a vehicle," DuBois said. "The buildings were gone through but items of value were left behind so it was apparent he was looking for a vehicle."

Authorities are looking for an abandoned vehicle -- displaying either Michigan or Wisconsin license plates -- or anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in the area of the Eau Galle Recreation Area between Friday, Nov. 13 and Monday, Nov. 16, according to St. Croix County Chief Deputy Scott Knudson.

St. Croix County deputies assisted Spring Valley Police Monday after the burglary and vehicle theft were discovered at the U.S. Army Corps office and maintenance building around 8 a.m. 

Dubois said authorities are not sure how the suspect got to the Spring Valley area, so the public is asked to be on high alert for any abandoned vehicles in the area. The abandoned vehicle may offer clues to an alleged homicide in Michigan.

Unbeknownst to local authorities, the alleged perpetrator had already been arrested and the stolen Army Corps pickup recovered, just minutes earlier in rural Carlton County, Minn., southwest of Duluth, following high-speed chase.

The Duluth News-Tribune reported Gregory Allen Rose, 46 — who was wanted after a woman's body was found in a burned home in Midland County, Mich., on Friday — led both Minnesota State Patrol troopers and Carlton County sheriff's deputies on a chase that lasted some 13 minutes and reached speeds of up to 95 mph.

Rose was driving a U.S. government pickup truck he allegedly stole from the Eau Galle Recreation Area sometime over the weekend.

What remains unclear is how or why Rose traveled from Midland County, Michigan -- in the central portion of Michigan's lower peninsula-- to the Spring Valley area where he allegedly stole the truck -- thus the appeal for public help.

"We don't know why he chose Spring Valley to come to," DuBois said. "We're all working together and with the Corps of Engineers on the investigation."

According to a press release from the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department, a Minnesota State Trooper encountered the black Chevrolet truck speeding northbound on Interstate 35 south of the Mahtowa exit at approximately 7:10 a.m. When the trooper activated his lights and attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver sped up and crossed the I-35 median, heading into the wrong lane of traffic, driving northbound in the southbound lane. The trooper disengaged from the chase -- to avoid a wrong way pursuit on the interstate -- but notified other law enforcement agencies in the area to be on the lookout.

At approximately 7:58 a.m., a Carlton County deputy spotted the black truck with federal plates on County Highway 61 just north of Moose Lake. The truck drove onto the Willard Munger bike trail and headed south into the city of Moose Lake.

According to the police report, Rose drove the truck at increasing speeds, swerving in and out of traffic, and failing to stop for law enforcement as the pursuit continued through county and township roads.

At one point during the chase and after the truck had already been swerving in and out of traffic and directly at a squad car, the chase was headed down a very narrow township road.

A Carlton County Sheriff’s deputy was outside of his squad car attempting to deploy tire deflation devices to stop the truck before he was able to continue into any more populated area. Rose drove right at the deputy and the deputy fired shots at the truck. No injuries were sustained from the shots.

When the truck finally came to a stop near the 4000 block of County Highway 4 west of Mahtowa just before 7:30 a.m., Rose did not resist arrest. Rose did not use any weapons in this incident.

No injuries were reported during the pursuit, however, there was damage sustained to two Carlton County Sheriff’s Office squads attempting to stop the truck. Carlton County Sheriff’s Deputies were assisted by Moose Lake Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers.

Michigan prison records show Rose served 28 years in a Michigan prison for armed robbery and criminal sexual assault in Muskegon County. He was paroled in June, 2014.

According to the Morning Sun newspaper in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., Rose is suspected of killing a rural Shepherd, Mich., woman and setting fire to the home to cover up the crime. The body was discovered Friday afternoon. Investigators determined the fire was set intentionally and the woman's death was a homicide, according to the report.

A warrant was issued for Rose's arrest and a national wanted report with his description was released Saturday.

Rose was believed to have stolen a white Ford Escape form the woman's home as of Saturday. That vehicle was later found near the fire scene in Michigan.

Rose remains in custody at the Carlton County Jail.

The Carlton County Attorney’s Office will be reviewing case files for any charges related to the incidents occurring in Carlton County. The incident remains under investigation, and Carlton County Sheriff’s Deputies are working closely with authorities in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Anyone with information on the Wisconsin connection is asked to call either the St. Croix or Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

Details on the Michigan fire and Rose' picture appears here: http://www.themorningsun.com/general-news/20151114/update-murder-arson-s...

Steve Dzubay

Steve Dzubay has been publisher at the River Falls Journal and Hudson Star Observer from 1995-2016. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He previously worked as a reporter-photographer at small daily newspapers in Minnesota and is past editor of the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal.

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