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Police seek public's help in Hibbing murder, say liquor store owner's death wasn't random

HIBBING, Minn. — Just a couple hours after family and friends said their formal goodbyes at Brian Nelson’s funeral Tuesday, Hibbing police investigators put out a call for the public’s help.

Nelson, 60, owner and operator of The Bottle Shop, was found murdered in his Hibbing residence near the liquor store at 2410 First Ave. around 4:45 p.m. Monday, July 10.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death as a homicide by “sharp force injuries,” according to Hibbing Police Investigator Jeff Adamich.

“We continue to investigate the homicide of Brian Nelson, following up on and continuing to get leads,” said Adamich. “We are now looking for the public’s help to assist. Specifically, we’d like to hear from anyone who may have had any contact with Nelson or had seen him between the evening of Saturday, July 8, and Monday, July 10.”

No one is in custody at this time.

“We’ve conducted interviews with persons of interest, and continue to develop leads and gather information so at some point we have enough information to charge,” Adamich added.

Investigators continue to believe this to be an isolated incident.

“We do not believe this was a random act of violence,” said Adamich.

A longtime Hibbing resident, Nelson was described by family and friends as a kind, caring person. He was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Hibbing, and enjoyed fishing, watching auto racing and playing baseball. In addition to family, he’s missed by his faithful canine companion, Dodo.

Flowers have been left at the storefront to honor Nelson. The store has been closed since Monday, July 10. The sign reads “closed until further notice due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Nelson will be buried in Hibbing Park “Maple Hill” Cemetery.

Agencies that have been involved with the investigation include the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force (LSDVCTF).

The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call (218) 263-3601 or 911.