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Police arrest stabbing suspect

DEVILS LAKE -- Billy Thomas Eagleman, 26, was arrested Friday for the stabbing death of Paula Hartze, 43, on March 1, law enforcement officials announced.

Early in the day, they said, they'd learned that forensic analysis of evidence found at the scene of the crime gave them probable cause to arrest Eagleman.

They arrested him when he came in for questioning later in the day.

He is the only person who's been arrested so far, and Ramsey County State's Attorney Lonnie Olson said he's "doubtful" police will arrest anyone else.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing.

They would not talk about what the evidence was or how it tied Eagleman to the crime.

They said Hartze, an English teacher at the North Dakota School for the Deaf for the past 13 years, was an acquaintance of Eagleman but did not specify what the connection was.

"It would be premature to discuss issues of motive or intent" or to talk in any detail about the alleged crime, Olson said.

In a murder investigation, authorities "bring in everybody" who may have had contact with a victim and then "law enforcement tries to piece together the last days and hours of the victim's life," he said.

Police have interviewed 25 to 40 people in connection with the crime, said Devils Lake Po-lice Chief Bruce Kemmet. "There were a lot of people that were suspects at the beginning" of the investigation, he said.

Hartze was found stabbed to death in her home March 2, but Kemmet declined to say who found her.

She died as a result of stab wounds to her torso, he said.

Eagleman, who currently is in the Devils Lake jail, has yet to be formally charged.

Olson said he's likely to make his first appearance and be charged Monday.

Murder is a Class AA felony, which has a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Grand Forks Herald and The Dickinson Press are both owned by Forum Communications Co.