WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 09, 2012, 05:14 PM

Police Chief: No Connection Between Crookston Stabbing Suspect and Brother's Disappearance

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - When Jerome Abel was murdered on Sunday, it wasn't the first tragedy to strike his family.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - When Jerome Abel was murdered on Sunday, it wasn't the first tragedy to strike his family.

Abel's son, Jacob faces murder charges for stabbing his father to death.

Five years ago this spring Jacob's older brother, Josh, disappeared and has never been found.

Shortly after Jacob Abel was arrested for murder, Crookston Police Chief Tim Motherway says he contacted other law enforcement agencies involved in the Josh Abel missing person case.

He was last seen in April 27, 2007 when he told his family he was going for a ride. The next day, his car was found north of Stephen.

"Josh's vehicle was found on the old family farmstead in northern Marshall County with the keys still in it. There was a single set of foot prints leading away from the vehicle," Motherway said.

Just before Josh disappeared, a witness saw him carrying a gun. The Marshall County Sheriff's Department looked for Josh for three weeks. There was no sign of a struggle or a second car at the site, no foul play was suspected and the case went cold.

On Sunday, Josh's younger brother 27-year-old Jacob Abel was arrested in the stabbing death of his father. He admitted to authorities that he killed his father, Jerome Abel, and said he was going to be famous.

"When we found out who was involved in this homicide one of my first thoughts was about back to Josh," Motherway said.

Motherway says all of the evidence gathered in 2007 shows that Jacob was not involved in his brothers disappearance. Motherway says Jacob was working the night Josh went missing.

"He was interviewed back then and he was cooperative back then with the investigation. At this point there is no other than the fact that they were brothers. There is no connection," Motherway said.

Jacob Abel is currently undergoing a mental evaluation to determine if he is fit to stand trial for the murder of his father.