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Onamia man shot to death: Investigators seek public's help in locating suspect's vehicle

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 34-year-old Onamia man, who died of an apparent gunshot wound to the torso.

ONAMIA—The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 34-year-old Onamia man, who died of an apparent gunshot wound to the torso.

Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent C. Lindgren reported the sheriff's office received a 911 call at 12:42 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, reporting a person was shot outside a house on the 16000 block of Ojibwe Drive in Onamia. The caller reported a person rang the doorbell and asked for a ride to the hospital. The woman then heard the sounds of vehicle tires and a gunshot, the news release stated.

The Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Isle Police Department and Mille Lacs Health System Ambulance Service also responded to the scene with sheriff's deputies.

While on scene, law enforcement officers provided medical aid to the victim. When Mille Lacs Health System emergency medical technicians arrived, they attempted life-saving measures, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A crime scene was established, and investigators from the tribal police and the sheriff's office are conducting a joint death investigation.

An autopsy occurred Monday, completed by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey. The victim was identified as Benjamin Charles Blake Jr. The preliminary results of the autopsy identified the manner of death as homicide and the cause of death appears to be from a gunshot wound to the torso, a news release stated. The final results of the autopsy are pending at this time.

Investigators are seeking the public's help to identify a vehicle of interest. The vehicle is described as a 1999-2004 four-door Oldsmobile Alero, gold or tan in color, with possible damage to the front of the hood above the passenger's side headlight. A vehicle matching this description was observed in the area where Blake was located prior to and after the incident.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact either the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department at 320-532-3430 or the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office at 320-983-8257.