FARGO — A second Sartell native has been murdered in the Fargo/Moorhead area within the last year.

Fargo Police Chief Dave Todd says 24-year-old Samuel Traut was found dead in his home at 1122 12th Street North early yesterday (Tuesday) after firefighters responded to a report of a fire.

“Evidence suggests Samuel Traut was killed by blunt forced trauma and that the weapon was a hammer. Evidence also suggests the person responsible also tried to set fire to the house,” says Todd.

Traut is a 2013 NDSU engineering graduate and was active in the campus group "Bison Catholic" and at the Newman Center, next door to the home where we was found dead.

(Photo: Samuel Traut's Facebook Page)
(Photo: Samuel Traut's Facebook Page)

Todd says 35-year-old Ashley Hunter was arrested at another home on the back side of Traut’s home. He says it is believed Hunter and Traut did not know each other and it was believed Hunter high on meth and also paranoid.

“And for some reason he (Hunter) ended up at the back door of Samuel Traut’s residence. And speaking with lieutenant Vettel last night at the crime scene I believe he put it best a good young man, unknowingly opened his door to a monster, and at that point Samuel Traut was murdered,” says Todd.

Todd says another man, 45-year-old Clarence Flowers, was also killed with an edged weapon. His body was found the day before, and it is believed he and Hunter knew each other.

Hunter is facing two counts of murder and one count of arson. He’s being held in the Cass County Jail.

Last fall NDSU freshman and Sartell native Tom Bearson was found murdered in the Moorhead area, but the case remains unsolved.

Police say even though Traut and Bearson were from the same hometown, they do not believe the murders are connected.

A prayer service is being held Wednesday night in memory of Traut. The service will be at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Sartell at 6:30 p.m.

KFGO helped contribute to this story.

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