$50,000 Reward to be Paid in Erika Dalquist Murder
Discovery of body led to arrest; brings closure to a
previously unsolved Minnesota murder
It is the first reward paid by Spotlight on Crime
SAINT PAUL (January 17, 2006) — Spotlight on Crime today announced it will distribute a $50,000 reward between three people who helped discover the body of Erika Dalquist in May 2004.
This crucial discovery eventually led to the capture and arrest of William “Billy” Gene Myears. The Dalquist case was officially closed this past October when Myears pled guilty to Dalquist’s murder in Crow Wing County District Court. Myears’ arrest ended a manhunt involving the FBI that intensified after Dalquist’s remains were found in a shallow grave on Myears’ grandparents’ property near Brainerd.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion, who also chairs the Spotlight on Crime Advisory Board, said that when the trail runs cold in these difficult cases a significant reward can be very important to breathing new life into them. Since its inception in 2001, $900,000 has been offered in 17 Minnesota murder cases. Of these, three cases have been solved and arrests made in two others. This will be the first time a reward has been paid out from the Spotlight on Crime fund.
“We are gratified to pay out this money because it means law enforcement has solved a violent crime,” said Nate Garvis, Vice President of Government Affairs for Target, a lead funder of the Spotlight on Crime fund. “The whole concept behind Spotlight on Crime is to help investigators get crucial information to bring justice to these innocent victims and closure to their families.”
Brainerd Chief of Police John Bolduc, Crow Wing County Sheriff Eric Klang, and Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan requested payment of the reward following a thorough review of the case. The reward recipients have requested to remain anonymous.
Spotlight on Crime (www.spotlightoncrime.org) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization administered by the Minneapolis Foundation. Donations to the fund, which may come from any individual, corporation, foundation or other source, are tax deductible.
William Myears Arrested
William "Billy" Gene Myears was captured and arrested without incident in Birmingham, Michigan on Saturday, June 5. The arrest occurred after the Erika Dalquist murder case was profiled on the television show America's Most Wanted. A woman who had seen the program notified Birmingham police that she thought Myears was at the Mid-America Carnival, across the street from the Birmingham Police Station. Myear's arrest came less than an hour after the program was aired.
The arrest ends a manhunt involving the FBI that intensified after Dalquist's remains were found May 15 in a shallow grave on Myears' grandparents' property near Brainerd; Myears was charged with second-degree murder two days later. The 21-year-old Pillager, Minn., woman disappeared from a bar in downtown Brainerd on Oct. 30, 2002. Her remains were laid to rest on June 4.