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Authorities ask for public help in Cromwell homicides

A truck apparently taken from a Cromwell home where two people were killed was found burned on Saturday in the Saginaw area.

Authorities are asking for information from anyone who might have seen the truck before or during the fire. It is a red 1999 Chevrolet Z-71 extended-cab, short-box pickup with a red topper. The topper windows were decorated with car-racing and hunting bumper stickers, Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake said in a news release.

Friends, family and co-workers identified the couple who lived in the Cromwell home where two people were found killed on Sunday as Tom Holm and Kim Schmitz. Close families members said Holm and Schmitz were the homicide victims.

Law enforcement has released no information about the manner and circumstances of their deaths.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting the Carlton County Sheriff's Office in the investigation.

Kim Schmitz worked as a meat cutter at B&B Market in Cloquet for the last six or seven years, according to store co-owner John Lind.

"She was a good person. The customers loved her," Lind said. "We're all just in shock about this."

Schmitz's ex-husband, Raymond, said Kim and Tom Holm have lived in the Cromwell area their entire lives. Raymond Schmitz said his ex-wife was "a really good person. She was a good mother."

He said her interests included hunting and fishing. "She had a lot of friends," he said.

Neither Schmitz nor Lind said they have been told any details about the homicide.

Holm's son, Thomas Holm Jr., 33, who lives in Missoula, Mont., said he was still shocked after being told that his father was dead.

"He was a good father," Holm said. "He's always been supportive. I'm just at a lack of words."

Holm said his father worked in construction for a Duluth union.

When Carlton County deputies responded to the crime scene Sunday, they found the male murder victim's truck missing, Sheriff Lake said.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office found the truck about 10:25 a.m. Saturday when it was reported on fire in the road near the 7700 block of Albert Road in the Saginaw area.

Authorities are asking anyone who was in the Albert Road area on Saturday who noticed the pickup truck or any vehicles or people that seemed out of place or suspicious to call the Carlton County Sheriff's Office at (218) 384-3236.

Cromwell, with a population of 203, is about 23 miles southwest of Cloquet on Highway 210. The weekend's double homicide had the community reeling Monday.

"I'm not comfortable with it at all," said Kristie Allenspack, an employee at the Cromwell Country Inn. "I have children; that makes it harder."

Charlie Carlson of Cromwell, who was a friend of Holm's for about 20 years, said: "He's just a hard-working guy who did everything in the community for people."

Holm's and Schmitz's house is "off the beaten path," on a back road next to the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation, Carlson said.

"They were well-liked and very well-known people," Carlson said. "I can't explain it. He didn't have nothing of value. He was just a working man."