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Former Willmar man accused of 1974 murder now being investigated for two more deaths

An 80 year old former Willmar man, Algene Vossen, accused of a murder in Willmar in 1974 is now being investigated for the deaths of two other women in Iowa.

Vossen is accused of killing Mae Herman of Willmar in January 1974. However, in November a Kandiyohi County Judge ruled him mentally incompetent to stand trial. A cold case investigation matched his DNA to DNA found at the crime scene, and he was arrested and charged with Herman’s murder in July of 2020.

However, mental health experts stated Vossen was suffering dementia. In November, a Kandiyohi County judge ruled Vossen incompetent to stand trial. Prosecutors filed an appeal and on Thursday, April 14, presented their arguments in front of a judge.

Now it turns out that Iowa law enforcement has also been investigating Vossen as a person of interest in the deaths of two Iowa women who died of blunt force trauma in the mid 1970s. In 1976, 80-year-old Emma Lewis was found dead in her Waukee, Iowa, home. In 1978, 57-year-old Anna Miller was discovered dead in her Des Moines, Iowa, home.

Vossen’s attorney confirms Vossen was a person of interest back then, but authorities didn’t have the evidence to charge him, so they never pursued it any further. Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt stated in an email that the Willmar Police Department is cooperating in the investigation.

(This article contains information from JP Cola KWLM, and KELO TV Sioux Falls.)



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