Murder charges filed against man suspected in deaths discovered after Moorhead fire
MOORHEAD - Murder charges have been filed against a man suspected in the Feb. 19 deaths of two people at a Moorhead apartment. Tracy Alan Zornes faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree arson and m...
MOORHEAD - Murder charges have been filed against a man suspected in the Feb. 19 deaths of two people at a Moorhead apartment.
Tracy Alan Zornes faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree arson and motor vehicle theft, according to the Clay County Attorney's Office.
A grand jury handed down the charges on Wednesday, a news release from County Attorney Brian Melton states. First-degree murder charges in Minnesota require an indictment from a grand jury.
The murder charges stem from the deaths of John Phillip Cadotte and Megan Joy Londo. Their bodies were found after firefighters responded to a suspicious fire at 901 9th Ave. S., a three-unit apartment complex just east of the Concordia College campus.
Melton said the charges wouldn't have been possible without the cooperation of law enforcement officers from Moorhead, the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions, the Moorhead Fire Department and the Minnesota fire marshal's office.
Zornes, of Naytahwaush, Minn., is scheduled to appear this afternoon in Clay County District Court.
The 38-year-old had been the only potential suspect authorities had named in the deaths of Cadotte and Londo, although Moorhead police explicitly referred to him as a "person of interest" instead of a suspect.
Police announced they were looking for Zornes on Feb. 23, three days after the fatal fire. He was arrested on March 4 in rural Mahnomen County on outstanding warrants from Itasca, Becker and Cass counties.
After his arrested, Zornes was turned over to authorities in Becker County, where he faces a burglary charge connected to the 2007 theft of a truck, a four-wheeler, five guns and a laptop computer from a home near Callaway, Minn.
He has a criminal record that includes 6½ years in federal prison for possessing stolen explosives and convictions in Minnesota for aggravated robbery, theft of a firearm, burglary, assault, fleeing police and escaping from custody.
Police have said they believe the deaths of Londo and Cadotte were homicides and the fire was intentionally set, but they haven't said if they think the fire caused the deaths. Much of the evidence on the scene burned in the early morning fire, Police Chief David Ebinger said in February.
The victims didn't know each other well, other than sharing a common friend. Cadotte, 20, was living with his mother in Moorhead. Londo, 25, was from Naytahwaush and was in the process of moving to Moorhead.