Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, July 31, 2000

Man arrested in 1992 murder of Linda Jensen

Kent Jones, 37, of Becker, was arrested Tuesday by members of the Linda Jensen Task Force at his place of employment in Inver Grove Heights, according to Sherburne County Sheriff Bruce Anderson.

Jones was a former neighbor of Jensen, living approximately one-half mile from the Jensen family at the time of the murder in 1992, Anderson said.

It appears that Jones and Jensen knew each other, and they had spoken, as she jogged in the neighborhood, he said.

Anderson said Jones was interviewed in 1992, but appeared to have an alibi. He got a second look this year, after the Linda Jensen Task Force renewed its efforts.

Through the course of its investigation, the task force learned additional information about Jones.

"New information came forward which linked him to the murder," Anderson said.

"Investigators didn't think Jones was being honest with his activities at the time and asked him to give a DNA sample. He refused.

"Officials requested and received a search warrant. Jones' DNA came back as a positive match to the DNA taken at the murder scene," he said.

Jones moved three to four times,since living in Big Lake Township. He is married and has four children.

Jones was convicted of domestic abuse in 1995 and insurance fraud in 1996. He has served time in the Sherburne County Jail, Anderson said.

"It's hard to describe the relief that Linda Jensen's family and members of the Sherburne County Sheriff's Department feel," Anderson said.

"We never gave up on this case. After eight years, we took a big step in bringing the guilty party to justice," he said.

Anderson commended the members of the Linda Jensen Task Force for their determination and hard work.

Anderson, who was the lead investigator when Jensen was murdered, said the family was concerned in 1992 that the case would be set aside.

"I promised Charlie (Jensen) that there would always be someone working to save this case," Anderson said.

"After I was elected Sheriff in 1994, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's (BCA) Cold Case Unit said they would commit their resources to our efforts. In 1997, we received the manpower. That was put on hold until after the Joseph Ture trial in Stearns County. When that ended earlier this year, we hit the ground running. And today, I am keeping my promise to Charlie Jensen," Anderson said.

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