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Man Charged With Murder In Osakis Woman's Death

OSAKIS, Minn. (WCCO) -- A man has been charged with murder after a woman went home to let her dog out in Osakis and was killed by an intruder in her home.

The Todd County Attorney's Office charged 52-year-old Jeffery Allen Brooks with second-degree murder on Tuesday. Police arrested Brooks Friday, near the Alexandria Library.

Brooks is accused of murdering 51-year-old Diane Fortenberry on May 20, after the wife and mother came home for lunch to let her dog out when she walked in on a burglar.

The medical examiner said Fortenberry died of blunt force trauma.

Investigators recovered a number of items belonging to Fortenberry in a dumpster at the Meadowland Trailer Court, 401 E. 34th Ave. in Alexandria, including a plastic Target bag with Fortenberry's bloody shoes inside.

A fingerprint found on the bag was determined to be from Brooks' right thumb. Video surveillance tape from a nearby resort in Osakis, close to Fortenberry's home, was also obtained by police. The video from the day of the incident shows a man fitting Brooks' description at the counter of the lodge area at the resort.

In addition, a witness told police they spotted a vehicle at Fortenberry's home on the day of the murder that matched the description of Brooks' car.

Police say Brooks has been employed at Long Prairie Packing Plant as recently as November of 2010. A common route for Brooks to take from his Alexandria home to the packing plant would take him past Fortenberry's home.

Investigators also noted in the criminal complaint that when Brooks was questioned after his arrest, he kept changing his story regarding his whereabouts on May 20.

Several items were missing from Fortenberry's residence on East Whitetail Trail after the murder, including a 32-inch flat screen TV, a surround sound player with DVD, several electronics and cameras and three of Fortenberry's credit cards.

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