INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. (KMSP) - Police have made six arrests after the death of Cheyenne Clough, whose badly beaten body was found in a Wright County park on Wednesday, June 1. Clough died at North Memorial Hospital on Saturday.
On Sunday, Justin Jensen, 28, and Natasha Brandenburger, 33, were arrested near International Falls, and remain in the Koochiching County Jail. Edward Zelko, 26, was arrested in Staples. Police say they were all taken into custody “in connection” with the death. Callie Anderson, 19, and Shawn Benson, 21, were also arrested in International Falls and both pending transfer to the Wright County Jail. A local International Falls man, Thomas Nicholson, 26, was also arrested and being held for obstructing the legal process.
Kate Zelko, the sister of one of the arrested men, told Fox 9 the arrests came after multiple police tips. She said she told police her brother, Edward Zelko, texted her saying he “was going to have a bullet put in his head” by Justin Jensen. Kate said she saw Cheyenne Clough on the news, and recognized her as someone who spent time with her brother and Jensen.
Kate said she believes her brother, Edward Zelko, was found in a different location, Staples, because he was trying to escape.
“He’s definitely not the kind of person to do something like this, so it’s a lot to take in,” Kate Zelko told Fox 9. “He’s a good guy. Drugs do stupid things to people. He got wrapped up in a lot of bad people.”
Kate said she last saw her brother and Jensen at her house, where her brother was living, on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Clough’s body was found in Crow Springs County Park the following Wednesday.
According to Kate, she saw Jensen break into her house the next Thursday. And she heard from her brother that Thursday night, saying he was in International Falls and feared getting hurt.
As of Sunday night, some of the arrested were facing charges for aiding an offender/accomplice after the fact, while others remained held on drug charges. The investigation remains active, and police are looking for a white or cream 2008 Honda Accord. It has a Minnesota license plate: 307LCX.
Meanwhile, near the location where Clough’s body was found, a makeshift memorial is growing.
“I knew her since middle school, we grew up together. I’ve been out here everyday since I went and saw her in the hospital because it’s just so surreal. Reality didn’t kick in until I went to the hospital and saw her,” Bre, a friend of Clough’s, told Fox 9.
“She definitely brought a bright personality. She was a very strong-willed woman, very bubbly, always had a smile on her face,” Cortney Bote, another friend of Clough’s, told Fox 9.