FAIRHAVEN -- Earlier this month (December 12th, 1981) marked the 40th anniversary of the murder of Myrtle Cole, an 81-year-old woman who was living in Fairhaven in southern Stearns County.

The case is still unsolved and there has been a renewed push to find the killer.

Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka says her nephew found her in a bedroom of her home with multiple stab wounds. Their best piece of evidence so far is a bloody palm print on a pillowcase.

Soyka says they have a few people that they are interested in.

People of interest I guess would be a better way to put it than a suspect at this point.  Our detectives are just trying to work on that stuff.  There have always been some people of interest.  Trying to use what's now available to us in the world of science and technology stuff that wasn't in existence in 1981 is one of the avenues we're trying to pursue.

He says they believe the killer is someone from the area.

Fairhaven is a very small town on the very southern part of our county, just east of Kimball, probably a total population back then of about 200.  So, it seemed unlikely to us that a random stranger just happened to find that town and just happened to find a female that lived by herself.

Soyka says over the four decades there has always been a detective assigned to the case.

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Recently, Tri-County CrimeStoppers put up some new billboards about the case in the Fairhaven area hoping to generate some new leads. Soyka says some new tips have come in from people who were living in that area at the time.

There is a $1,000 reward being offered.

Stearns County Sheriff: 320-251-4240

MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension: 651-642-0610

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