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County attorney files warrant for man wanted for questioning in attempted homicide case

Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler has filed a complaint of child neglect against John Edwin Bemis III, 37, the ex-husband of the Cloquet woman accused of shooting her current (but estranged) husband.

John Edwin Bemis III

Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler has filed a complaint of child neglect against John Edwin Bemis III, 37, the ex-husband of the Cloquet woman accused of shooting her current (but estranged) husband.

Marie Margaret Majerle, 36, is accused of going to the Cloquet home of her husband, Richard Alan Majerle, 38, early in the morning on Jan. 6 and, after they had spent some time together, shooting him in the upper chest with a semi-automatic rifle in the sauna. Marie Majerle is also charged with removing or altering a serial number on that firearm. Richard Majerle was injured, but survived the shooting and is out of the hospital.

During the course of the attempted homicide investigation, Cloquet investigators learned Marie Majerle had a minor child in common with Bemis and that Marie Majerle been staying with Bemis and their 14-year-old daughter prior to the Jan. 6 shooting.

Police had searched the Bemis home on the 200 block of Third Street on Jan. 7 and found a drill press with fresh metal shavings "consistent with the gun where the serial numbers were shaved off," Pertler told the court when Marie Majerle was arraigned.

Then Bemis disappeared.

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According to the criminal complaint for Bemis:

Investigators approached Bemis regarding the whereabouts of Marie Majerle the evening of the shooting. Bemis had agreed to meet with police again on Jan. 7 regarding additional questions that had arisen in the homicide case. However, the investigators were advised that when the minor daughter arrived home from school that day, her father was not there. Other family members also did not know where he was.

Investigators subsequently learned that Bemis had disappeared from his residence Jan. 7, taking with him various personal property items including a large amount of cash. He also left his job with no explanation. The family officially reported him missing Jan. 9 and police issued a missing person's alert for Bemis, with no success.

To this date, according to the Jan. 30 complaint, Bemis has neither spoken to family members nor the minor child whom he left behind without making any custodial arrangements.

"She doesn't have her mother [who is in jail on the attempted homicide charge] and her dad has up and left without any explanation," Pertler said Thursday after the warrant for Bemis was issued on charges of child neglect. "She's fortunate she has a lot of people who care about her."

He added that the county had made sure she

The warrant for Bemis will be issued nationwide, the county attorney said.

"If anyone has contact with him, if he gets a speeding ticket somewhere, he will be taken into custody," Pertler said.

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Bemis is not a suspect in the Majerle case at this time, Pertler said.

"It's no secret we want to talk to him about the Majerle case," he said. "But this [warrant] is for abandoning his child."

Bemis is white, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes. Authorities said they believe Bemis is traveling in a 2005 red GMC Sierra extended-cab pickup truck with a Minnesota "Support Our Troops" license plate numbered 140DH and has a 2009 red Kawasaki Enduro motorcycle with Minnesota plates 60170MG.

Related Topics: CLOQUETCRIME
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