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Suspect charged, victim ID'd after firefighters find body in Minneapolis apartment

MINNEAPOLIS –  Authorities have charged a suspect and identified the victim in Minneapolis's 41st homicide of the year. Sunday morning, firefighters found a man dead inside an apartment south of downtown.

Charles Brown, 55, faces two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the killing, according to court documents.

Hennepin County

A criminal complaint states a call about smoke coming from an apartment brought firefighters to a complex on the 1700 block of Third Avenue South around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Inside, firefighters found food burning on a stove, Brown asleep in the bedroom and a dead man facedown on the floor in a pool of blood.


The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office later identified the dead man as 67-year-old Duane Brown. His cause of death has yet to be determined, though the complaint states he was stabbed multiple times and suffered blunt force trauma to his head.

Police were called to the scene to speak with Charles Brown, who had blood on his arms but no correlating injuries, the complaint states. 

Within the apartment, police found signs of a struggle, including broken liquor bottles, furniture out of place and "significant blood splatter," the complaint states. Authorities also found bloody shoe prints. Though they didn't match the shoes Charles Brown was wearing when police showed up, a matching pair of shoes, doused in blood, was found discarded in the apartment. Those bloody shoes allegedly matched the ones Charles Brown was wearing on surveillance footage.  

Charles Brown allegedly told police he was friends with Duane, and they "crossed paths" the day before the killing. The pair decided to go to Duane Brown's apartment to drink. Charles Brown told police they drank heavily and he fell asleep. When he woke up, he said, he found Duane Brown dead and became "emotionally distraught," the complaint states.

Charles Brown allegedly denied any knowledge of the killing.

Surveillance video showed the two men entering Duane Brown's apartment just after 5 p.m. Saturday.

"There is no indication either of them left the building after that time," the complaint states.

The complaint states Duane Brown's apartment door automatically closes and has a manual lock, and that his keys were found inside the apartment. This "forecloses the possibility of someone killing [Duane Brown] and then using his keys to lock the door upon leaving," the charges state.

Charles Brown is in custody, and the investigation continues.

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