Money a motive for murder in Apple Valley? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Money a motive for murder in Apple Valley?

Posted: Updated:
APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) -

Investigators are taking a closer look into the death of an Apple Valley woman whose body was found in the stairwell of her home in November because new tips are raising doubt about the way she died.

Police believe financial records and documents may even provide a motive for murder, but they aren't saying much while detectives continue to look into the death of 51-year-old Barbara Ratzel.

Ratzel lived on the corner of 145th and Hayes Avenue, in a home just across the street from Apple Valley High School. It's also where her body was found.

"She did have two DUIS," Ratzel's daughter told Fox 9 News. "She was a very heavy alcoholic."

Initially, the medical examiner ruled that Ratzel died from blunt force trauma to the head after suffering injuries consistent with a fall down the stairs. Her blood-alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit.

"I was expecting bad news, but not like that, you know?" her daughter said.

Now, Ratzel's daughter, who did not want to be seen on camera, says she no longer believes her mother's death was just a tragic accident. That's why she's now talking with her mother's friends, her coworkers -- anybody who could have been involved, who might know something.

A recently-issued search warrant is adding to her suspicions, because police are looking to obtain Ratzel's records from her financial advisor. Police say those documents show a crime may have been committed, but they wouldn't explain what kind of crime or who may be behind it.

Police also learned that before Ratzel died, she had a dispute with a 29-year-old friend she met in court-appointed rehabilitation. Although that friend is not a suspect in the case, Ratzel's estranged husband told Fox 9 News that man sent his wife numerous text messages asking for a loan.

"He sent some threatening messages saying she was preventing him from getting his motorcycle; it was all her fault," he said.

Ratzel's estranged husband also did not want to appear on camera, but he said he went to the man's house to let him know his wife had died -- and that's when he found his gold money clip, which had been at his wife's home, on the front steps.

"I then asked, 'Is it possible you had taken something from her place?' And again, he said, 'no,'"Ratzel'ss husband recalled. "That's when I showed it to him and said, 'Can you explain how this ended up on your door step?' and he had no answer for that."

Fox 9 News is not revealing the 29-year-old's identity since he has not been charged with a crime, and police say for now, there are no suspects in the case let alone arrests. Meanwhile, suspicions are mounting for Ratzel's family as the investigation continues.

Anyone with tips regarding Ratzel's death is urged to call Apple Valley police at 952-953-2700.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Beautiful brows by day, gun range by night

    Beautiful brows by day, gun range by night

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:51 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:51:05 GMT
    Krystal Dunn is ambitious -- she opened up Brow Bella salon at age 24. By day, she pampers guests by shaping their eyebrows amid other delightful spa services, but by night, she’s a competitive shooter.
    Krystal Dunn is ambitious -- she opened up Brow Bella salon at age 24. By day, she pampers guests by shaping their eyebrows amid other delightful spa services, but by night, she’s a competitive shooter.
  • EXCLUSIVE: Somali-American elders make citizen's arrest of suspected recruiter

    EXCLUSIVE: Somali-American elders make citizen's arrest of suspected recruiter

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:20 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:20:31 GMT
    The motto of the Department of Homeland Security is "see something, say something" -- and a group of Somali-Americans did just that when they thought a man was trying to recruit teens to fight in Syria.
    The motto of the Department of Homeland Security is "see something, say something" -- and a group of Somali-Americans did just that when they thought a man was trying to recruit teens to fight in Syria.
  • Tiny Target now open in Dinkytown

    Tiny Target now open in Dinkytown

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:58 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:58:36 GMT
    Target's tiniest offspring is now open -- you can now shop at TargetExpress, a 20,000 sq. ft. store in Dinkytown near the University of Minnesota campus.
    Target's tiniest offspring is now open -- you can now shop at TargetExpress, a 20,000 sq. ft. store in Dinkytown near the University of Minnesota campus.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices