Janette Pigman-Kruse, 40, died on August 19, 2015, when she was shot and killed at her home in Brewster, Minnesota, a small town northeast of Worthington. Her husband, Christopher Kruse, called 911 in the early hours of the morning to report that an intruder had broken into their home and shot his wife while they slept.
While officers told residents of the small town of Brewster that they did not believe there was a threat to the public, no arrests were made or suspects named for over three years. Nearly four years later, Pigman-Kruse’s husband was indicted and charged with the first-degree premeditated murder of his wife, The Globe reported.
The indictment was not made public so it wasn’t until Kruse went to trial in early 2020 that members of the public were made aware of the evidence found against him.
Pigman-Kruse Was Shot in the Chest & Killed in Her Bed on August 19
According to a news article from the time, the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office said that Pigman-Kruse’s husband called 911 and said his wife had been shot. He told the 911 operator that someone had come in through the back door and shot Pigman-Kruse in the chest as they slept. He said he woke up when he heard the bang and found her shot on the bed but was unable to identify the intruder.
Their daughter was at home when Pigman-Kruse was killed and she told law enforcement that she heard two gunshots at around 2:30 a.m., The Globe reported. Kruse called 911 at 2:39 a.m., prosecutors said during his murder trial but was not in the same room as the victim or his daughter.
According to Pigman-Kruse’s autopsy report discussed during the trial, the 40-year-old mother did not have any wounds indicating a physical fight but she was most likely awake when she was shot in the chest and killed, The Globe reported.
Kruse Was Eventually Charged With Her Murder Nearly 4 Years After Pigman-Kruse’s Death
On March 15, 2019, after years without updates to the investigation, Kruse was indicted by a grand jury for the first-degree premeditated murder of his wife, Nobles County Attorney Kathleen Kusz told the Bismarck Tribune. Kruse was then arrested by the sheriff’s office. During Kruse’s bail hearing, details about the investigation were released to show why he was indicted for the murder.
According to The Globe, two 12-gauge shotgun shells were found at the crime scene and they matched Kruse’s shotgun that was later located in Brewster. Kruse also admitted to not helping his wife in her last moments after she was shot, the Nobles County Assistant Attorney testified. Despite Kruse’s claim that the shooting was done by an intruder, the Minnesota man did not make any attempts to increase security at his house in the following days, prosecutors said.
According to her obituary, Pigman-Kruse married her husband on October 7, 1995, and her “biggest joy was being with her husband and children.” She obtained an associate degree at Worthington Community College and worked at Ridley Block Operations but she spent most of her time “watching various sporting events for [her kids]. She liked to quilt, travel, garden and spend time with friends. Their three dogs, Hog, Gator and Zippy, had a special place in Jan’s home.”
Kruse was found not guilty of the first- or second-degree murder of his wife after 12 hours of jury deliberation on February 13, 2020. Her murder investigation has since been closed, Heavy learned, since there were no other leads or suspects.