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Hundreds remember Willmar, Minn., murder victim

Mourners gather Saturday outside Redeemer Lutheran Church in Willmar prior to the funeral of Lila Warwick, left, the 79-year-old woman killed in her home last week. An estimated 500 people were on hand for the funeral. Three teens, including Warwick’s grandson, are charged with her murder. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR -- An estimated 500 people attended the funeral Saturday at Redeemer Lutheran Church for Lila Mae Warwick, the 79-year-old woman murdered one week ago in her home just outside Willmar.

Pastor Greg Enterline said it's hard to believe that someone would take the life of a woman who cared so much about others and about her faith. He said many people are going to miss her. Enterline said Warwick left a positive impression on most people.

She served as a Sunday school teacher, financial secretary, preschool volunteer and on the board of evangelism at Redeemer.

"I suspect Lila may not have known what to think of so many people coming to her funeral,'' Enterline said Sunday. "But I think she probably would have been happy to have people hear about her savior. I know her faith was really important to her and I think she made that clear in her life.I think she would have liked people to have heard the Gospel.''

In a statement released Saturday, Enterline said he doesn't have an answer why God would allow something like this to happen.

"I can say that the world is a sinful place, and although that's true it doesn't really make us feel the least bit better about the situation. Especially for those of you who knew Lila personally, this is a bitter pill to swallow,'' he said.

"Yet, while God doesn't give us answers to all of our questions, he does give us answers to the questions that are most important to our faith and our eternal welfare,'' Enterline said.

Three Willmar teenagers were charged Friday with Warwick's murder.

They are: Brok Nathaniel Junkermeier, 19; Devon James Jenkins, 16; and Robert Inocencio Warwick, 17, who is Lila Warwick's grandson. All are in custody.

Junkermeier was charged with intentional second-degree murder, without premeditation, in Kandiyohi County District Court. Jenkins and Warwick were charged as juveniles. They each face two counts of aiding and abetting murder.

A complaint alleges Robert Warwick disliked his grandmother and believed she had more than $40,000 in a safe in her home. Police believe he and Junkermeier had been planning to kill the woman and steal her money for some time.

Junkermeier allegedly waited in the garage of the home for Warwick in the early hours of July 29. When she entered the garage, the complaint states, he forced the victim into her home. He then ordered her to write him a check for $1,500 before strangling her and stabbing her multiple times with a 20-inch blade.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that no further information regarding the case will be released until today at the earliest.

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