David Scott Elmquist

David Scott Elmquist

Date:

Friday, February 9, 2018

Crime:
Suspected Homicide
Location:
Plymouth, MN
Age:

24

Occupation:
Oil Field Worker

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David Scott Elmquist died in an apartment fire after oil that he was doused with lit aflame. His death was ruled a suicide. That may have been the entire story, but David's parents believe he was a victim of foul play.

David Elmquist was a 24-year-old oil field worker who had left the fields in North Dakota to come back home to Minnesota where he married Emily Manninen. The couple lived together at 3301 Highway 169, Apartment 352 in Plymouth, MN. At the time of his death, they had been married eleven months.

His parents say the day before his death, David went to their house for a visit, where they say he told them that he wanted to get a divorce. According to Scott and Nancy Elmquist, he told them that his marriage was toxic and that his wife, Emily, manipulated everything. When Nancy asked him what would happen if he went home to talk to his wife about this, she says he replied, "She'd go ballistic."

His parents say he planned to move back into their house the following day. Eight hours after his visit with his parents, he was dead of what investigators determined was self-immolation. But through their investigation of the events that took place, Scott and Nancy say they found four reasons why they think David didn't kill himself. They are:

  1. David's Wrists— David's body was almost completely burned. The only two spots that didn't have a burn mark on them were he wrists according to autopsy photos.
  2. Missing Lighter— Emily's statement to the police said that David poured oil over himself and that he had a lighter, presumably to set himself ablaze. According to police records, the lighter has never been found, nor is there any evidence that it ever existed.
  3. Planted Knife— According to their reports, police officers did not immediately enter the apartment because they said they had been told that David had a knife, and they feared an ambush. In the scene photos (see below), you can see a knife on the floor, but it is absolutely clean; not covered with any soot or oil, just a little fire extinguisher residue. Scott & Nancy have said they believe the police planted the knife there to cover-up their shoddy police work.
  4. Locked Door— Scott Elmquist has said that he was told by a Plymouth PD investigator that David pushed Emily out of the apartment, locked the door, and lit himself on fire. If this were true, it would clearly indicate that David committed suicide. However, when the State Fire Marshall's investigator interviewed the maintenance worker who extinguished the fire, he stated that the door wasn't locked when he made entry.

David had his first mental breakdown and went into a state of psychosis just a couple weeks before his death. This was the first time he had ever experienced this and was hospitalized for it. It's possible that Plymouth PD rationalized that he was mentally unwell, so it was likely that David committed suicide by self-immolation.

I submitted a request for all public records related to this case under the MN Government Data Practices Act and obtained the audio recordings, photos, and documents found below. The autopsy report was provided to me by David's family, along with photos of their son.

After studying the documents, photos, and recordings I obtained, I believe Scott and Nancy Elmquist are correct. In my opinion, David did not commit suicide.

YouTube Videos

Audio Recordings

Interview of Emily Manninen Elmquist by Officer Molly Sutherland, February 9, 2018 at 12:19 AM
Recording of Emily Manninen Elmquist, February 14, 2018
Interview of Emily Manninen Elmquist by Officer Heath Bird, March 1, 2018 at 4:58PM
Interview of Emily Manninen Elmquist by Fire Marshall Investigator Casey Stotts, August 22, 2018 at 12:11 PM

Photos

Crime Scene Photos

Investigation Files

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911 Call Transcript

2/8/2018
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Incident Report

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Coopet

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Gerads

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Grabau

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Haseman

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Larson

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Palm

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Schik

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Sutherland

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Topp

2/8/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Whiteford

2/8/2018
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Emily Manninen Elmquist’s Statement

2/9/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Hultgren

2/10/2018
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Crime Laboratory Examination Report, Request 0001

2/19/2018
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Crime Laboratory Examination Report, Request 0002

2/19/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Topp

2/19/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Bird

2/25/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Officer Bird

4/3/2018
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State Fire Marshall Investigation Report Sent to Officer Heath Bird

4/11/2018
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Autopsy Report Sent of David Scott Elmquist

4/25/2018
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State Fire Marshall Report Sent to Scott Elmquist

5/2/2018
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Incident Report – Declination to Prosecute

6/13/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Declination to Prosecute

6/16/2018
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Supplemental Incident Report – Rescindment of Declination to Prosecute

6/26/2018
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Administrative Subpoena for Phone #1

2/20/2019
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Administrative Subpoena for Phone #2

2/20/2019