Rochester police seeking information on unsolved homicides

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RPD logo(KTTC)
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 10:13 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester Police Department (RPD) is asking for help in solving two unsolved homicide cases.

RPD is hoping to gather tips and information from members of the community who may have knowledge or insight into these cases.

One of the unsolved cases is that of 41-year-old Robert E. Volgmann who was killed in his northwest Rochester apartment in April 2020.

He was last seen alive on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020. There was a snowstorm that day. The bedroom window of his ground floor apartment was open for several days afterwards. The landlord went to check on Robert and called police to the apartment. Robert’s body was discovered three years ago on April 16, 2020.

The other unsolved case is the homicide of 27-year-old April J. Sorensen who was killed in her northwest Rochester home in April 2007.

On April 17, 2007, a TV technician arrived at Sorensen’s house for a scheduled visit at 12:30 p.m. and saw smoke coming through a window. He immediately called 911. First Responders arrived on scene and determined that the fire was not an accident. Once the fire was extinguished, her body was discovered in her bedroom. Autopsy reports confirmed that she had been stabbed and strangled to death.

RPD is still investigating, using the latest tools and resources.

“Staying up to speed on technology that comes out that may help us solve this case as well. There’s always new technology obviously as we pay attention to what those are,” RPD Captain Casey Moilanen said.

RPD believes someone out there knows what happened to Sorensen and Volgmann, but they may be hesitant to come forward.

“They’re afraid to provide the information, they’ve been intimidated about giving the information or they may feel like they’ve been threatened,” Captain Moilanen said.

Officers encourage tipsters to reach out to them directly instead of leaving a tip anonymously.

“Because then we can have a conversation with them. If they provide a tip, sometimes it can take a little bit longer when we don’t have direct contact with them,” Captain Moilanen said.

RPD says they work to protect tipsters who may feel in danger as much as possible.

“We would take the upmost care in using the greatest discretion and sensitivity that we can to the information to protect the person as much as we can,” Captain Moilanen said.

The main motivation for finding out who is responsible is for the victims and their families.

“We’d really love to bring some closure to these families and some justice to the victims,” Captain Moilanen said.

If you or anyone you know has any information that may be relevant to these cases, RPD urges you to come forward and speak with officers.

For information regarding Volgmann’s death, reach out to Detective Chris Weber at 507-328-2897. For information regarding Sorensen’s death, reach out to Detective Alex Kendrick at 507-328-2739.

RPD understands that coming forward with information can be difficult, and that some individuals may be hesitant to do so for fear of retaliation or other concerns. However, RPD wants to assure you that all tips and information received will be treated with the utmost discretion and sensitivity.

RPD asks to keep an open mind and consider the impact that your information could have on these investigations, as well as the lives of those affected by these tragedies.