Deputy Dan Ruettiman's suicide rocks Ramsey County Sheriff's Department

Bob Fletcher foe left files detailing his struggle for justice

During his suspension, he started showing up at Jimmy Hereaux's trailer park for coffee two or three times a day. He would sit in Jimmy's parents' trailer, sometimes as early as 7 a.m., worrying that Fletcher supporters within the department were still plotting against him. It got so that Jimmy's mother stopped looking forward to his visits.

Ruettimann's complaints were starting to sound more paranoid. In darker moments, he confided that he feared Fletcher might have him killed.

"If anything happens to me, call the FBI," Ruettimann told Jimmy.

Mark Andresen
Dan Ruettimann (left) on the campaign trail with Matt Bostrom.
David Puente
Dan Ruettimann (left) on the campaign trail with Matt Bostrom.

A week before Ruettimann was set to go back to work, he handed over the accordion file to Hereaux and told him to give it to the City Pages reporter whose name was on the envelope.

On Saturday, October 2, Deters was packing up for a casino trip to Hinckley with a friend. When her ride arrived, Ruettimann followed the pair out into the garage, where Deters's friend complimented his prized Ford F-150, the truck he liked to pick his kids up with.

"Do you want to buy it?" Ruettimann asked her.

"C'mon, you love this vehicle!" Deters scoffed, brushing it off.

Deters kissed him goodbye and left.

Ruettimann was supposed to go to his sister's for dinner, but then called to say it was too late, he was tired and wanted to talk to Hilger.

When he talked to Ruettimann, Hilger was surprised by how calm he seemed for once.

"Nah, I'm fine," Ruettimann said. "I'm okay."

At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Deters called Ruettimann from Hinckley. She'd won $1,600 the night before. Ruettimann seemed happy for her. They made plans for later that day.

But before she returned home, he headed to the guest bedroom downstairs. In the closet, he pulled down his gun case and removed his service weapon, which had just been given back in preparation for his return to duty. He removed a single bullet from a box of ammo.

Ruettimann drove his car north for about an hour, past the city where his sister lived, up past Hinckley where Deters was. Ruettimann pulled onto County Road 61 and cruised through the farmland for several miles.

Eventually, he happened upon Hammersma Drive. He passed the only two homes on the dirt path, and rolled to a stop when the gravel became an empty hay field.

Ruettimann walked outside the car, raised the gun to his head, and fired.

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