MOTLEY, Minn. (WCCO) – A 60-year-old central Minnesota man has been charged with murder after his girlfriend was found dead in the home they shared, authorities say.
Harold Wassather faces a second- and third-degree murder charges, according to a criminal complaint.
The Morrison County Sheriff's Office said a 911 caller Sunday morning reported a friend called him and said he killed his girlfriend.
Authorities responded to a residence on the 600 block of Highway 10 South in Motley. According to the complaint, Wassather willingly gave himself up to police and admitted to killing his girlfriend, identified as 66-year-old Christine Nygard.
Authorities detained Wassather while searching the home. During the search, they found Nygard dead in a bedroom.
Her cause of death was blunt head and chest trauma, and her death was ruled a homicide, the sheriff's office said.
"The victim tragically lost her life to domestic violence, which could have been prevented," Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen said.
According to the complaint, Wassather admitted to assaulting Nygard after she confronted him about talking to other woman. Wassather allegedly told police the assault occurred two or three days before she was found dead. He said he she lost consciousness and stopped breathing, and he put her in bed and covered her up, the complaint states.
He told investigators he called his friend after a day or so, asking him to gather some things for him before he turned himself in.
Though Wassather has been charged, the sheriff's office noted "authorities are continuing to investigate the incident."
For anonymous, confidential help, anyone can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224.
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