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Pancake Breakfast June 9 will benefit McFadzens following tragedy

A group of local churches is taking an active part in dealing with the April 17 tragedy of the McFadzen family at their rural Perham home.

The goal of Saturday's 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. pancake breakfast at New Creation Lutheran Church in Perham is to help the surviving members of the family acquire a mobile home to replace the one where the double homicide occurred.

A longtime family friend, William Hillman, was charged with murdering 42-year-old Denise McFadzen and her 21-year-old son, Dalton, in their home between Frazee and Perham.

Surviving members of the family include the father, Mark, and his sons Dillon and Zachary, daughter Nicole McFadzen, grandson Robert Hicks and stepsons Tim and Travis McFadzen.

Mark is still residing in the home where the tragedy occurred. Dillon has his own place and Zachary, who was at home the morning of the tragedy but was not harmed, has been spending time with friends in Perham. He avoids talking about what happened.

"Zach has had a hard time," said his father, who looks forward to having his youngest son back with him again.

McFadzen said his boys grew up with Hillman in Pine River. Dalton was his best friend and reached out to help Hillman when he could not land a job in Detroit Lakes. Other than assault charges against Hillman in an incident with his mother, they could not find anything on Hillman's record.

After being taken into custody by the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office, Hillman, 21, was charged with two counts of second degree homicide. Hillman had previously been committed to the St. Peter (Minn.) Regional Treatment Center in June 2016 after a court-appointed psychologist found the Pine River man mentally incompetent to stand trial after the attack on his mother.

New Creation Pastor Randy Freund said the church has been part of a tradition of holding fundraisers for people from the community who are in need.

Other churches participating in the event are St. John's Lutheran of Ottertail, St. Paul's Lutheran of Richville and United Methodist of Richville.

McFadzen said he is grateful to the church, Pastor Freund, their neighbors and the community of Perham for the support they have given.

"I've got my good moments and I've got my bad moments," McFadzen said in talking about what life has been like since that April morning. "I try not to think about it but it's hard."

New Creation Lutheran Church is located at 295 W. Coney Street in Perham.

The fundraiser will include a silent auction, according to Freund and tax deductible donations may be directed to New Creation.

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