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Body of shooting victim released to family

Tanner Rix

Family and friends of Angel C. Linderman appeared emotional in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Thursday, Dec. 4, when the suspect’s defense team and Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell agreed to release Linderman’s body after three months of investigation at an arraignment hearing for Linderman’s boyfriend.

Tanner J. Rix, 22, of Lake City, Minn., was charged in court on Monday, Sept. 15, with felony counts of firstdegree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, Linderman, 28, also of Lake City.

Defense attorney assistant state public defender Brian Smestad requested a continued arraignment. Lundell approved the request, and an arraignment hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 9.

According to Smestad, there are issues with the jurisdiction of the court in regards to count 1 — the homicide charge.

“My understanding is that part of the complication here is that two states are involved and that law enforcement in Minnesota may have sent certain evidence to the Wisconsin Crime Lab, which further complicates things,” said Lundell.

Prosecuting attorney Michael Nieskes affirmed that statement and added that forensic and ballistics identification evidence, and lab matters play into the need of a continued arraignment.

“There were searches at the Rix residence and other searches done,” Nieskes said. “Initially they were going to be done by labs in the state of Minnesota, but because there has not been a point identified as to where the homicide had taken place, Minnesota at this time has not done anything as far as charges.”

Nieskes added that all the evidence has been sent to the Wisconsin Crime Lab through the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department.

Nieskes said he was going to notify the medical examiner’s officer immediately after the hearing to release Linderman’s body so the family can hold her funeral.

According to a Facebook page dedicated to Linderman, her funeral was scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 11, in Lino Lakes, Minn. She is survived by her 9-year-old daughter, Christina, her mother Rhonda Richardson and stepfather Wayne Richardson, father Scott Linderman, and many other family and friends. She graduated from Metropolitan State University with a double bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and criminal justice, according to a benefit flyer posted on the site.

According to the criminal complaint, St. Croix County Emergency Communications received a 911 call from Rix at 11:48 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Rix allegedly asked for a medical helicopter and told dispatch that his girlfriend had been shot in the head, but was still alive. Rix then allegedly said, “I shot her,” according to police reports.

A St. Croix County deputy arrived in the area of 260th Street just north of 90th Avenue in the Town of Baldwin at about noon. According to the complaint, he found a 1999 black Mercury Cougar registered to Linderman sitting sideways in the road.

The deputy found Rix standing near a .22 High Standard revolver and a knife that lay in the roadway. When the deputy performed a search of the vehicle, he found Linderman’s body laying face down, with her head resting on the front passenger floorboard. Her legs and feet were reportedly between the front seats extending into the rear passenger area. She was hidden by a full-sized car tire on top of a blue tarp. The deputy reported her body was not visible from outside the vehicle.

During an autopsy conducted on Linderman on Sept. 10 by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Paul, it was found that Linderman died from a single gunshot wound to the head by a small caliber weapon fired from close range. It’s estimated she died between 4 and 6 a.m., Sept. 9, but could have been earlier than 4 a.m.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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