Police: 2 people dead in home of businessman Irwin Jacobs in Orono

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

/ by Unknown
  Police: 2 people dead in home of businessman Irwin Jacobs in Orono

Two people were found dead by authorities in the Lake Minnetonka area home of prominent businessman Irwin Jacobs, according to emergency dispatch audio aired Wednesday morning.

Police in Orono have officers on the scene, 1700 Shoreline Drive, and a department staff member said a statement about the incident was being prepared.

Two people were “found unconscious, possibly DOA [dead on arrival],” the first emergency dispatch disclosed shortly after 8:30 a.m.

The two were in a bed along with a “handgun on the bed as well.”

A statement from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office issued shortly after 10 a.m. confirmed the deaths of a male and a female. There is no immediate word on identities of the people.

The Sheriff’s Office statement added that “there is no risk to the public.”

“There is no suspect being sought at this time,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Edgar Linares.

A news conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Orono Police Department headquarters, with Police Chief Correy Forniok and Sheriff Dave Hutchinson attending.

The Hennepin County Crime Lab was called to the scene, as was a hearse, while the ambulance service from North Memorial Health was told it was not needed. Police also informed dispatch that an attorney for Jacobs arrived at the home.

Someone at the home, listed as being owned by Jacobs and wife Alexandra, made the first call to authorities, and that person was “standing by” for questioning by responding officers, the dispatch audio revealed as sirens blared in the background.

Three or four officers were directed to go through the house in search of anyone else who might be there. Other officers stood guard at the front gate.

More than a half-dozen police and sheriff’s vehicles were at the scene, a large, wooded hilltop lot with a commanding view of Lake Minnetonka from the edge of Smiths Bay. Hundreds of yards of police crime scene tape was needed to seal off the sprawling property.

Bob and Carolyn Nelson, who have been Irwin and Alxandria Jacobs’ neighbors since 2003, said they heard nothing unusual at the home.

They said they have been awake since 5 a.m. and didn’t notice any activity. Later, when they returned from the grocery store, they found out about the deaths.

Bob Nelson said Jacobs put the home up for sale several years ago, then took it off the market. He also sold some of the hilltop property for building lots. Several new homes are under construction or have recently been finished.

Jacobs, 77, owned a minority share of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1980s, before selling that share. He also bought the Grain Belt beer company in the mid-1970s, along with its distinctive brewery in northeast Minneapolis, and later sold the beer brand to G. Heileman Brewing Company and the brewery to the city of Minneapolis.

Jacobs made a fortune as a corporate raider who bought and liquidated failing companies at a profit.

For more than 40 years, he has owned J.R. Watkins Co., the Winona-based maker of soaps and other household products that are sold around the country. He owns Jacobs Trading Co. in Hopkins, a retailer specializing in liquidation of merchandise.

He owned boat maker Genmar Holdings Co., which went through a lengthy bankruptcy restructuring earlier this decade.


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