Suspect in Decker slaying released

Just the day before the funeral of slain police officer Thomas Decker, the man who had been arrested in connection with his murder was released from the Stearns County Jail.

The news stunned everyone, including many supporters of Decker’s who were gathered outside the jail to find out if Ryan Michael Larson, 34, would remain in custody or be released. On Monday, Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall had asked and received permission from a judge to hold Larson in jail another day beyond the time limit. That limit passed Tuesday, and Larson was released at about noon.

According to the county attorney, there was not enough evidence to continue a jail hold on Larson. Although he was released, that does not mean Larson is no longer a suspect. The investigation by many agenices is continuing. A shotgun allegedly used in the slaying has yet to be located, and police have requested all Cold Spring residents to keep an eye out for such a weapon.

Larson has maintained since his arrest that he is innocent of the crime.

Dennis Dalman

Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.
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