A Perham man is in custody on a murder charge in the death of a man found in a Perham residence Monday night, March 30.

Derek John Sweere, 40, of Perham was arrested without incident at the scene Monday and booked into Otter Tail County Jail early on Tuesday, March 31, on probable cause of second-degree murder, according to the release. Formal charges against Sweere are expected.

Derek Sweere was arrested on a second-degree murder charge by the Perham Police Department on Monday, March 31. (Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office)
Derek Sweere was arrested on a second-degree murder charge by the Perham Police Department on Monday, March 31. (Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office)

An officer responding to a disturbance report Monday night found the victim inside of the home at approximately 10:05 p.m., according to a Perham Police Department news release. Tuesday morning, law enforcement had blocked off the residence, in the 600 block of First Avenue South in southwest Perham.

The victim was taken to the Midwest Medical examiner's Office for autopsy and formal identification, according to the release. After the preliminary autopsy is complete, the Perham Police Department will release the name and cause of death.

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Neighbor James Mulcahy was surprised to hear of the incident, just a block away from his Second Avenue home.

“I just thought it was somebody getting arrested,” said Mulcahy Tuesday. He said he did not hear anything happening on First Avenue Monday night. It was not until the next morning, on his way to Perham Public School, that Mulcahy knew anything was going on.

The scene was clear of onlookers by mid-morning Tuesday, likely because of Minnesota's stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Crime Scene Team from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and Perham police were the law enforcement agencies on scene.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office and the New York Mills Police Department are assisting with the ongoing investigation. The investigators believe that there is no ongoing threat to the public, according to the release.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 UPDATE: Complaint: Victim stabbed to death, shot 15 times