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Crime News Domestic Violence

Minnesota Man Gets 40 Years For Fatally Stabbing Wife Dozens Of Times And Going On The Run

Eric Reinbold was convicted of stabbing his wife 27 times and leaving her body to be found by her son. A note found near Lissette Reinbold's body read, "Jesus, forgive me of my sins."

By Jax Miller
Husbands Who Killed Their Wives

A man in Minnesota will spend the next few decades behind bars for his wife’s 2021 murder.

Eric James Reinbold, 46, was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison for the stabbing death of his wife, Lissette Reinbold, 34, according to CBS Minneapolis affiliate WCCO-TV. Reinbold was convicted in September after a Pennington County jury found him guilty of two counts of second-degree murder.

Reinbold is ordered to serve no less than two-thirds of the sentence before he’s eligible for supervised release, according to the Duluth News Tribune. He was also credited for 525 days already served.

“Finally, we have justice for Lissette,” the victim’s mother, Elvia Juarez, said after the hearing. “I want life. I want life in jail for the way he took my daughter’s life.”

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The murder investigation began on July 9, 2021, when authorities responded to reports of an unresponsive female outside Lissette’s Oklee, Minnesota home — about 110 miles north of Fargo, North Dakota — according to court records reviewed by Oxygen.com. Responders soon encountered Lissette’s son — a child from a previous relationship — on his bicycle, claiming to have found the body.

Another child was found near his mother as responders moved closer to the residence.

EMTs found Lissette dead near her vehicle with “dirt on [victim’s] face and flies on her,” court records state. According to the Thief River Falls Times, a note discovered on Eric’s workbench — not far from the body — allegedly read, “Jesus, forgive me of my sins.”

“An EMT noticed a puncture wound on her neck, near her jaw, blood, a cell phone wedged under a tire, and [victim’s] sandals were off and a little way from [victim’s] body,” according to the affidavit filed with the county’s 9th Judicial District court.

Post-mortem findings showed she was stabbed 27 times, according to the Thief River Falls outlet. The murder weapon was never recovered.

A police handout of Eric Reinbold

The boy on the bicycle said his stepfather, Eric Reinbold, lived in a camper about half a mile from Lissette’s home. When investigators arrived, there were another two children in the trailer, but no sign of the suspect.

“Neither child knew where the defendant went or his current location,” the affidavit stated. “One of the children reported last seeing their mother [Lissette] crying, and that the defendant thought her mother was cheating on him, and that made him mad.”

Following Lissette’s murder, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest — his absconding was a violation of his three-year federal supervision, ordered upon a 2018 conviction for possession of unregistered devices from when the defendant “stashed pipe bombs” at his home, according to court records.

With Eric in the wind, investigators obtained a search warrant and downloaded the contents of Eric’s phone, showing texts between the pair in the days leading up to the murder. The messages painted a violent picture of the couple’s marriage, including Eric accusing Lissette of being unfaithful and demanding sex.

One day before the murder, Eric allegedly wrote, “I am getting work [sic] up because you appear to be lying to me in various ways,” according to the affidavit.

“[Lissette] reminded the defendant that he punched and choked her in 2015,” the affidavit continued. “The defendant continued to pressure [Lissette] about sex, including claiming ownership over a part of [Lissette’s] body.”

Later in the evening, Eric came to pick up two of the children, who slept over at his camper down the road. When they woke, Eric was nowhere to be found.

On Aug. 4, 2021, nearly one month after Lissette’s murder, a trail camera not far from Eric’s parents’ Red Lake County home alerted authorities of movement. The suspect was eventually found “hiding in the woods near an abandoned homestead” and arrested on murder charges, according to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

Since his arrest for Lisette’s murder, Eric has been charged with allegedly assaulting a correctional officer and trying to escape custody, according to the Tribune. Those cases are still pending.

The Reinbolds’ tumultuous marriage seemingly went on for years, according to court records. In 2015, Pennington County officials responded to the Oklee residence after calls about a “domestic situation.”

When deputies arrived, “the defendant was hiding in the nearby woods and would not agree to come out if he had to put down his weapon,” according to the affidavit.

Lissette later explained to authorities that she tried leaving her husband — taking two children with her — before Eric ”jumped into his pickup” and “repeatedly rammed her vehicle with the children inside.”

Eric pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was placed on probation, having completed a domestic violence course in 2017, per the Tribune.

He was found in violation of probation in 2018 when authorities discovered his hand-made explosives. In that case, he also absconded and was later arrested in Kansas.

Only months before Lissette’s murder, Eric was granted compassionate release from federal prison, where he was serving time for the bomb-related charges.

Lissette’s children now live with her mother, who wrote a statement for Wednesday’s hearing, according to the Duluth outlet.

“They often sleep with me because they fear you will come and hurt them,” said Elvia Juarez.

Juarez ended the letter by telling her daughter’s killer, “I hope you rot in Hell.”

Prison records list Eric’s anticipated release as April 2048.

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