Captain Paul Barta of the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s office briefs the media on the investigation into Evelyn Adams’ death.

(Mankato, MN) –  Blue Earth County Sheriff’s investigators say they have persons of interest, but still need more information to solve the death of an elderly woman who was beaten at her rural Mankato residence last month

Evelyn Adams, 76, died on February 28th at a local hospital, several days after she called police to report she’d been assaulted in her home.

Captain Paul Barta of the sheriff’s department held a media briefing this morning to ask the public for assistance in solving the disturbing crime.

On Feburary 23, while a blizzard raged outside, a neighbor of Evelyn Adams called police to report that one or two suspicious people were at Adams’ home, according to Barta.  Just 20 minutes later, Adams herself called police to report the assault.  Barta recalled that police response time was about eight minutes from the time that Adams called 911, noting that the blizzard conditions hindered efforts of first responders to get there.

When law enforcement arrived on the scene, Barta said, Adams was coherent enough to give a statement to investigators, both at the hospital and at the scene.  “We had no real indication at that point that she would succumb to her injuries a few days later,” said Barta.

But Adams did die at the hospital several days later, on February 28th.   Police aren’t yet ready to disclose the source of her injuries, saying that they won’t yet release the “fine details” of the investigation.

Sheriff’s officials have conducted more than 50 interviews in relation to Evelyn’s death so far, but they are still seeking information to fill in holes of the investigation. “There are people out there that know what happened that night,” Barta said.  “We’re confident in that. We want those people to come forward to us with the information.”

Police say they do have persons of interest but won’t go so far as to label those individuals suspects.  Barta wasn’t willing to comment whether Adams was familiar with her attacker.

The sheriff’s office said the vehicle spotted at Adams’ home was initially thought to be a car, but the witness later said it was an SUV.  Investigators aren’t certain about the type of vehicle at this point, but despite the lack of clues, they’re not giving up on learning what happened leading up to Evelyn Adams’ death.

“We aren’t going to stop until the investigation is completely handled with answers,” Barta said.  This is not going to go away.”

The Blue Earth County Sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information to contact investigators at (507) 304-4863.

“The folks that are responsible for this are encouraged to come forward as well,” Barta said  “The longer it takes for us to get folks associated for this, or held accountable, the less favorable it is for them in the long run.  Now is the time to come forward with the information.”

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