March 12, 2014

A 79-year-old Maple River man and his farmhand died Monday at the scene of a fire that is being investigated as a crime on an acreage about three miles northeast of Denison, the man's family confirmed this morning.

Marvin T. Huelsing and someone he employs to help tend his livestock were doing daily chores before the fire was reported about 12:45 p.m., his wife Madelyn said in a telephone interview this morning.

She declined to say whether her husband had died because investigators have yet to publicly identify the victims, but Madelyn Huelsing's sister, who answered the phone, confirmed one of the victims was Marvin Huelsing.

"It's evidently a crime scene," Madelyn Huelsing said.

State and county investigators have revealed few details about the fires that destroyed a mobile home and pickup truck on the acreage at 1872 Milford Road, which is just southeast of Deloit, a town of about 270.

Two bodies were found in a fire, according to a state Division of Criminal Investigation press release, which did not specify whether the bodies lay in the truck or home.

The bodies underwent autopsies Tuesday to determine how the people died, but "the cause and manner of death cannot be released at this time as the case is under active investigation," the press release said.

Crawford County Sheriff Jim Steinkuehler declined this morning to say whether investigators suspected that Marvin Huelsing is one of the victims. A state medical examiner had yet to confirm the identity of the bodies, he said.

Madelyn Huelsing said no one should have been living at the mobile home because the Huelsings did not rent it to anyone.

"It was just our small farm," she said.

Investigators are seeking two men who were seen in a pickup truck in the area of the fires. They were described by a witness as two white men in a newer, dark-colored, extended-cab pickup truck.

Those with information about the men or Monday's incident can call the Crawford Sheriff's Office at (712) 263-2146.