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Red Lake Woman Charged with Murder, Arson, and Child Neglect

DULUTH, Minn. – A Red Lake woman has been charged with murder, arson, and child neglect following the death of two young children on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on March 15, 2024, Jennifer Marie Stately, 35, attacked and killed Minor A and Minor B. Stately slashed at Minor A and Minor B with a knife or other sharp object and then set fire to the residence. Stately fatally stabbed Minor A in the chest. Minor B suffered non-fatal stab wounds but ultimately died from smoke inhalation due to the fire Stately started. Stately fled the scene in her vehicle with Minor C. Later that night around 9:00 p.m., an AMBER Alert was issued. A motorist spotted Stately's vehicle and contacted law enforcement. Law enforcement located and stopped Stately's vehicle and recovered Minor C, who was suffering from visible signs of child neglect.

The indictment charges Stately with one count of premeditated murder, one count of murder in the course of committing child abuse, one count of murder in the course of committing arson, one count of arson, and one count of felony child neglect. Stately appeared today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois. Judge Brisbois ordered Stately to remain in custody pending further proceedings.

"This tragic case demonstrates the importance of close working relationships between the U.S. Attorney's Office and our state, federal and tribal law enforcement partners. Together, we are able to bring charges swiftly in cases such as this on behalf of the most vulnerable among us," said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger.

"This case is another example of how AMBER Alerts save lives. They get critical information out quickly to millions of Minnesotans willing to step up to help rescue a child in mortal danger," BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said. "We are grateful to the Minnesotan who acted quickly and bravely in this case, and to all Minnesotans who join in the search when a child needs them most."

"The loss of innocent lives demands swift and decisive action," said Special Agent in Charge Alvin M. Winston Sr. of FBI Minneapolis. "Through seamless collaboration with our state and local counterparts along with the invaluable support of the U.S. Attorney's Office, we are steadfast in our resolve to pursue justice for the victims. We stand united in seeking closure and healing for the affected family and their community."

AMBER Alert is a system designed to send alert messages to the public about abducted children that are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death. Information about DOJ efforts to support the improvement of AMBER Alert in Indian Country is available on-line.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Todd County Sheriff's Office, the Long Prairie Police Department, and the Red Lake Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel L. Kraker and Garrett S. Fields are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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