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Police arrest suspect in home invasion case

Cloquet detectives and officers arrested a 43-year-old Cloquet man Friday afternoon after an extensive investigation regarding a home invasion June 7 on Boulder Drive in Cloquet.

According to a news release from the police department, during the June home invasion, a woman was awoken after an intruder entered the home and began strangling the woman as she slept. The victim's husband was alerted from another room and later had a brief confrontation with the suspect before he fled the home into the nearby woods. Law enforcement scoured the area but could not locate the suspect then.

Detectives obtained DNA evidence from the scene, which was later analyzed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension laboratory.

During the investigation, officers discovered a vehicle parked in a semi-secluded area of woods just south of the victim's home in the early morning hours of the previous day. Officers noted they thought they heard someone or something in the woods but could not find anyone. They later learned the vehicle was registered to the suspect.

Based on eyewitness information and the vehicle owner's description, it was believed that the owner resembled the suspect.

Previous court records revealed the suspect was previously charged in 2013 with 4th Criminal Sexual Conduct and was also charged in 2013 with 2nd-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and False Imprisonment. The defendant was also a non-compliant predatory offender.

Days after the incident, in the late evening hours on June 11, surveillance cameras at the victim's home captured footage of a person approaching the deck stairs behind the house. The individual in the footage resembled the male intruder.

In late July, detectives attempted to execute a search warrant for the suspect's DNA. He was resistant and refused to provide a sample. In August, detectives executed a second search warrant for the man's DNA. A sample was obtained and sent to the BCA lab for analysis.

The BCA recently informed CPD that the samples submitted to their lab contained DNA matching the suspect.

On Oct. 6, 2022, the Carlton County Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant for the man and he was taken into custody without incident.

"On behalf of the Cloquet Police Department, I would like to extend our continued thoughts and sympathies to the victims of this traumatic incident," said Cloquet police chief Derek Randall, expressing thanks to the detectives, officers and other assisting in the investigation. "This crime created fear and anxiety for many citizens, especially in Boulder Drive and Sunnyside neighborhoods. Our department is steadfast in pursuing justice for those affected by criminal activity."

The suspect is currently being held in the Carlton County Jail and facing charges of 1st-degree Burglary-Dwelling-Occupied-Non-Accomplice Present (609.582.1(a) and 3rd-degree Assault-Substantial Bodily Harm (609.223.1).

He is expected to make a court appearance early next week. The Pine Knot News won't name the suspect until he is formally charged, although the police department did name him in their news release Friday evening.