County attorney speaks on search for convicted murder after failing to show up for trial

A convicted murderer is on the run this week, and authorities believe he could be armed with a high-powered rifle.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Windom Police Department are looking everywhere for Ralph Apmann after he skipped out on his trial while out on bail.

After failing to show up at court in Cottonwood County, authorities learned he was later dropped off in the Twin Cities, and they think he might still be around, "We knew he was in the area Monday morning," Cottonwood County attorney Nick Anderson told FOX 9 on Wednesday.

Anderson brought charges against 58-year-old Apmann, and jury selection started on Feb. 6. The state rested its case on Feb. 10 and Apmann's defense was expected to begin on Feb. 13, but he never showed up. 

"There was nothing really that I think tipped anybody off, there was nothing that tipped me off," Anderson explained. "He probably thought about it over the weekend… I’m assuming he was thinking his options were bleak, so unfortunately, he made this decision."

Apmann's trial continued on without him, and on Feb. 14 a jury came back with a guilty verdict on the charge of second-degree unintentional murder.

Back in August 2021, Apmann is accused of befriending a drunk bargoer at Windom’s Phat Pheasant Pub. Then, investigators say Apmann took the man out back and put him in a 5-minute headlock, to steal less than $400 that the man was seen with.

Juan Morales Rivera’s body was not discovered for another 20 minutes. By then it was too late to save the 40-year-old.

"The state requested a million dollars bail, with certain conditions, and he was given $150,000 bail, with certain conditions," Anderson said.

Now Apmann is apparently on the run, facing a 12-year prison sentence for second-degree murder.

He’s described as being 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds with hazel eyes and bald/gray hair. If you see him, do not approach him and call 911.