Rochester, New York I know. Rochester Minnesota I don’t. This city in southern Minnesota has about 226,000 souls living in or near it according to the latest figures I could find. It is the original home of the Mayo Clinic organisation. In the northern part of the city is a street called 22nd Ave, NW.
On the corner of 48th Street is a neat house that was the scene of one of only two unsolved murders currently on the books with the Rochester PD.
On Tuesday April 17, 2007 at about 12.30 pm a TV repair guy turned up for a scheduled appointment. The outer glass door was closed but the inner door was open. A fire alarm was sounding. Emergency services attended and they found a fire that was blazing in only one room. There was a casualty.
27 year old, April Sorensen had not died from fumes or flame. She had been stabbed and strangled to death. The fire had deliberately been started. A natural suspect is often the partner of the victim. Her husband was quickly eliminated from the enquiry. He had been in work at the time of the murder and where he worked had very specific security arrangements.
Below are the words released by the Rochester PD about this lady:
‘April was a beautiful, 27-year-old woman in the prime of her life. She worked hard at everything she did and was studying to become a dental hygienist. She was close with her family. They shared a love for running and ran several races together. April had no enemies and was very well liked by everyone. Her death was untimely and a huge loss for her family, friends and our community.’
I found out about this unsolved murder when I read a Reddit post by a relative of Mrs Sorensen’s.
It was said she had worked a very early four hour shift at the UPS depot in Rochester. This had started at 4 am and finished at 8 am. She attended a collage class between 10 am and 10.50 am. So between the end of class and the TV guy attending the house there was only a slice of time available for the killer to strike.
On that note the technician was also eliminated based on his travelling time and work schedule for the morning.
I hate to hit this point and say no progress seems to have been made yet that is the truth.
The police are active on the case and there is mention of DNA being a possibility. Sometimes a sample is so small and delicate it is held back from testing in the hope the techniques improve. Other times the process for extracting the DNA profile is expected though not currently developed. On a positive note there are cases on this site that show no killer should think that won’t happen. It does.
Cops say they have strong suspects and in one article they have a particular suspect that is doing time for another crime.
A few thoughts I have is that there is no mention of forced entry so either Mrs Sorensen knew the killer or they used a story to get her door open.
I think of cases from the UK that are similar. There is Ms Palmer-Radford and Mrs Julie Pacey that spring to mind that have left similar puzzles after they were killed in their homes. In Canada there is the case of Barbara Elaine Chapman and in the USA there is Aileen Conway.
When it comes to specifics like arson being used to try and erase evidence there is Molly Willmore and Mary Budworth. The latter case was very similar to the murder of Mrs April Sorensen though in no way am I connecting them. It is something we avoid doing to be honest unless evidence makes a connection undeniable.
So who could it have been?
The cops think the offender was local. So who are we looking for?
A burglar who likes to knock on doors to see who is home? Do you know someone who does that or did that?
Someone who was stalking the victim? If that was the case they probably have done it to someone else.
A hunch of mine, and it is just that, is that it was someone from the neighbourhood. I look at those streets and the spacious layout makes me wonder why a stranger would not have been noted driving or walking around on that day.
In the past this sort of killing often has a killer nearby. I am thinking of the case of Jean Roddam in the UK. Her murderer was a man known to her and known in the neighbourhood. It took 13 years before he was convicted. I guess the quickest way to outline my thinking is with the phrase hiding in plain sight.
I stress my thoughts are just that. Never let that vital bit of information fade in your mind because of the speculation of us here or anyone in the media.
If you are from the neighbourhood and were about on those nice neat streets that day please have a think about anything you saw that was out of place. The police and family would be very grateful for any information even if you do not think it is all that important. In addition, there is a reward for the right information. The link is below.