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'A Tragedy With No Explanation': Friends, Family Of St. Paul Man Brutally Killed 50 Years Ago Offering Reward For Information

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Fifty years after their high school classmate was brutally killed, a group has come together to offer a $10,000 reward.

Bob Hamburge died in August of 1971. The 19-year-old graduated from Cretin and was a student at the University of Minnesota. High school classmates remember him fondly.

"Everyone loved him and so to have this happen to him was kind of unthinkable," John Whaley said.

Whaley, along with David Eggenberger, Michael Donnelly, Dave Ayers, and Ed Cleary rallied about 20 others from the graduating class of 1970 to come together during their reunion to offer the reward for information. They're doing it for his family.

"For 50 years they've been uncertain about what happened to their brother. That's a tough burden to bear," Eggenberger said.

Bob's siblings say they live with the grief of losing him.

"It's ever present, I think," Therese Bartlett, his sister, said.

"It's just a heinous, violent, deadly act," said his brother, Mark Hamburge. "We have literally almost no information, and there's nobody that's been held accountable."

Bob Hamburge
(credit: CBS)

It was after midnight on Aug. 6, 1971. Bob Hamburge left his apartment in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, near Laurel and Western avenues. He was found about a mile away, a few hours later at Pleasant Avenue and St Albans Street.

"He was beaten with rocks and bricks to the point where he was unrecognizable," Whaley said.

Police identified the teenager by his initials on his class ring. St. Paul police cold case Sgt. Nichole Sipes says without modern day tools like forensics and surveillance video it with take the community's help to solve the case.

"Information from people -- what they knew, what they know, maybe what they've learned over the years," Sipes said.

Bob Hamburge's friends know the reward they're offering is a long shot, but they hold out hope it will help someone will come forward.

"The whole thing is just a tragedy with no explanation and no resolution," Michael Donnelly said. "That's why we're talking about it 50 years later."

If you know anything, contact Crime Stoppers. The number is 1-800-222-8477. You can also submit a tip online here.

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