Hibbing man charged with murdering girlfriend

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HIBBING, Minn. — A Hibbing man faces second-degree murder charges after officers found his girlfriend dead in their apartment early Tuesday morning.

Eric James Jarvis, 46, was charged in St. Louis County on Friday. He could face up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted.

According to the complaint, police were dispatched twice to Meadowview Apartments on Sunday. Both times, Jarvis and Kari Jo Petrich – the victim – appeared upset and intoxicated. The second time, Petrich said Jarvis had hit her in the head, but officers did not see any injuries. They left the scene both times.

Then around 1 a.m. Tuesday, Jarvis called the police again and told the operator that Petrich was unconscious and would not wake up. When officers arrived, Petrich was laying on her back in the living room and her face was bruised. She was dead, and her body appeared to have been cleaned.

The complaint says that when officers told Jarvis that his girlfriend was dead, he put out his hands, indicating that he should be handcuffed. He repeatedly said he was willing and expecting to go to jail, documents state.

In a post-Miranda statement, Jarvis said he didn’t know why Petrich had injuries to her face. He said that she had been lying on the ground since Sunday afternoon, but “didn’t know if [he] did it.”

Over the course of the investigation, officers learned that there was a trash bag in the apartment dumpster with wet wipes that had been used to clean up blood, as well as a bottle that had blood stains on it. 

Petrich’s family said the two had been together for about 9 months. She had asked for help from her ex-husband and said twice that she thought Jarvis was going to kill her, documents say.

The medical examiner’s autopsy has yet to be finished, but preliminary findings show that Petrich died from blunt head trauma.

Local Domestic Violence Resources

Women’s Advocates
www.wadvocates.org
Crisis Line: (651) 227-8284

St. Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project 
https://www.stpaulintervention.org 
Crisis Line: (651) 645-2824

Minnesota Day One 
www.dayoneservices.org
Crisis Line: 1-866-223-1111

Esperanza United 
esperanzaunited.org
Bilingual crisis line: (651) 772-1611.

For anonymous, confidential help, people can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224.



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