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Central Minnesota man charged with murdering girlfriend

Harold Wassather was charged by the Morrison County Attorney’s Office with second-degree murder, Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen reported in a news release Tuesday.

A photo illustration has a crime scene tape above the ground.
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MOTLEY, Minn. — A 60-year-old man was charged for the murder of his 66-year-old girlfriend Sunday, March 6, at their Motley home.

Harold Wassather was charged by the Morrison County Attorney’s Office with second-degree murder, Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen reported in a news release Tuesday.

About 9:40 a.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from a person stating he received a phone call from his friend, later identified as Wassather, who indicated he killed his girlfriend.

The sheriff’s office and the Motley Police Department responded to a house on the 600 block of Highway 10 South in the city of Motley. At the home, law enforcement authorities found Wassather and detained him while authorities conducted a search. Law enforcement authorities discovered a dead woman, identified as Christine Nygard, inside the house. Authorities took Wassather into custody and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension responded to assist with the death investigation.

Nygard and Wassather were in a relationship and lived together at the residence, the sheriff’s office reported.


Nygard’s body was transported to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. The autopsy determined her cause of death as blunt head and chest trauma and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.

Larsen said because the investigation is ongoing, he would make no further comments. He added authorities believe this was an isolated incident and there is no known threat to the public.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family for this senseless act of violence and to the First Responders that investigated and processed the scene,” Larsen stated in the release. “The victim tragically lost her life to domestic violence, which could have been prevented.”

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