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March Mania

No arrests yet in murder of southwest Minnesota woman in her home two years later

BREWSTER, Minn. — Faith, family and friends.

That's what the family of the late Jan Pigman-Kruse has relied on since laying their loved one to rest. They're relying on that even more this week, which marks the two-year anniversary since Pigman-Kruse was fatally shot in her Brewster home in southwest Minnesota near Worthington.

"Tragedy brings people together, and we were a close family, anyway," said Pigman-Kruse's mother, Mary Jean Pigman, earlier this week.

No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the Aug. 19, 2015, homicide in this town of 472 people where such things aren't supposed to happen.

According to Nobles County Attorney Kathleen Kusz, the investigation is still ongoing. Her office remains in regular contact with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul. The bureau sent investigative materials to her office this summer, she said.

"When they tell me the case is concluded, we'll make a charging decision," Kusz said.

Kusz said she is also in contact with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office for advice and potential assistance on the case.

For the family, Pigman-Kruse's memory lives on, particularly through plants.

The family planted a vegetable garden in spring 2016, and Pigman-Kruse's husband, Chris, and daughter, Bailey, expanded it this spring.

"Jan did like her plants and gardening," her mother said.

Mary Jean and Terry Pigman, along with Jan's sisters, Vonnie Ericson and Kay Holck, and Jan's son, Isaac Kruse, are also reminded of Pigman-Kruse daily with house plants.

"At her funeral we were overwhelmed with memorial plants and plaques and those kinds of things," Pigman said. "We still have them and they're still doing well."

Pigman said her daughter was always smiling and enthusiastic about life.

"She was a little kid about her birthday," she said.

Pigman-Kruse always had a kind word and selflessly helped others, her mother shared. "If somebody was sick, she was taking them soup or a hot dish or something."

Pigman said this week is difficult for the family, but she is thankful for one thing.

"It means so much that people remember her," she said.