Twin Cities principal found in a fish house in northwest Minn. faces a new charge
LAKEVILLE, Minn.—Criminal allegations against a Lakeville middle school principal, who was found in a fish house in northwest Minnesota last week, continue to pile up.
In the latest charges field Monday, Feb. 26, prosecutors said a Lakeville school resource officer had opened a file cabinet in Christopher Jerome Endicott's former school office and found valuables, which police later traced to a burglary at his next-door neighbor's home.
Endicott — already accused of stalking a police officer and unauthorized access of a computer — broke into the neighbor's home in Apple Valley in 2015 and stole two rings, Dakota County prosecutors allege in the newest charges.
The 50-year-old Century Middle School principal was charged Monday in Dakota County District Court with felony second-degree burglary and he made his first court appearance on that charge.
He posted $50,000 bond that was tied to several conditions set by the court, including that he undergo a psychological evaluation at Regions Hospital in St. Paul to determine if he is a threat to himself or others.
The Otter Tail County sheriff's office located Endicott in a portable fish house on East Battle Lake, east of Fergus Falls, and took him into custody without incident last Thursday night. Earlier that day, Apple Valley police learned that Endicott had sent suicidal messages to family members and that he had bought a scoped rifle. Police issued a statewide "pick up and hold" to law enforcement agencies.
The rifle was in the fish house.
According to a criminal complaint on the latest charge:
On Nov. 1, 2015, Apple Valley police officers were called to a home on a report of a burglary.
Homeowners told police that upon returning home from out of town they found a basement window broken and pulled open. Someone pulled two safes from a bedroom and into a basement hallway.
Both safes were damaged, but only one had been opened. The homeowners couldn't tell whether anything was missing. Two days later, police were contacted by one of the homeowners who said that she was missing a white-gold ring with a small diamond and a key ring that had their house keys on it.
Since mid-January, Endicott has been the subject of an investigation by Apple Valley police into unauthorized access of a mobile phone and an iPad issued to the assistant principal of Scott Highlands Middle School in Apple Valley. Endicott's wife, Andrea, is a counselor and teacher at the school.
Lakeville schools put Endicott on leave from his job on Jan. 12, the same day that Apple Valley police searched his home. He has been the principal at Century Middle School in neighboring Lakeville since August 2012.
Last Wednesday, the Lakeville school resource officer opened a file cabinet drawer in Endicott's former school office and discovered three watches, a gold ring, an antique fork and knife, a Coon Rapids High School class ring, a key on a Mercedes Benz key ring and a thumb drive.
Investigators met with the homeowner who lives next to Endicott and whose home was burglarized in November 2015 and she identified the rings as being hers.
She told police that a few months earlier she began having a "dispute" with Endicott over his cats going into her backyard and that she was concerned her dog would go after them. She said Endicott accused her of threatening to send her dog after his cats and that they now have a "problem." She told Endicott she never made the threat.
Endicott was charged Feb. 8 with gross misdemeanor stalking for allegedly driving near an Apple Valley police detective's home twice and to the police station three times in one day. He is suspected of stealing identities and manipulating victims' information and accounts.
During a search of Endicott's Apple Valley home two days earlier, detectives also found paperwork that shows he pleaded guilty to a shoplifting charge in North Dakota in September 2016.
Tony Massaros, executive director of administrative services for Lakeville schools, said this month the district was not aware of Endicott's theft conviction until Apple Valley police found the paperwork in his house.
Endicott's next court appearance on the burglary charge is scheduled for March 8 in Hastings.